The Winnebago County Health Department has released information that two batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
The batches were located in the 61073 and 61108 zip codes. West Nile is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito that picked up the virus after feeding on an infected bird. Although most people will not experience any symptoms, the virus can be serious, especially for those over the age of 50.
Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, or swollen lymph glands. Those with serious symptoms such as encephalitis or meningitis should see a doctor immediately. People can become ill from between three to 15 days after being bitten.
The Winnebago County Health Department has also reported three positive birds and no human cases of West Nile so far this year. Thirty-three counties in Illinois have reported 1,691 positive mosquito batches, 35 positive birds, and six human cases of West Nile in 2012.
The department recommends practicing the three "R's" of reduce, repel, and report to avoid West Nile. For more information on avoiding the virus, see here.
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