Clay County Health Department received confirmation on June 27, 2012 that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in a bird found in Flora.
The bird, a dead Crow, was collected by Health Department staff on June 14, 2012 and submitted to the University of Illinois‚Äôs Diagnostic Laboratory for WNV testing. The bird showed no obvious signs of death and was in compliance with the criteria for testing.
Confirmation of a West Nile virus positive bird means the virus is circulating in the community and there is a heightened risk of infection in humans. Residents are urged to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
It is important to remember the three R‚Äôs ‚Äì reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, repel them by wearing insect repellant, and report areas where mosquitoes typically breed. No human cases of WNV have been reported in the state of Illinois so far this year.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes pick up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The illness is not spread from person to person. Most people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms. However, some people may experience fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile Virus.
Clay County Health Department is conducting surveillance for West Nile virus throughout the County. Surveillance activities include laboratory tests on mosquito batches, the submission of dead crows, blue jays, robins, and other perching birds, and responding to concerns of mosquito production sites.
If you find a dead perching bird, or would like more information on West Nile Virus, contact the Clay County Health Department at 662-4406 or visit our website www.healthdept.org.