West Nile virus continues to be a threat in northern Illinois.
The temperature may be cooling off, but you'll still want to keep an eye on those mosquitoes. Winnebago County officials confirmed this week that a bird tested positive for West Nile virus. It's the 13th year in a row the virus has been confirmed in the county. The infected bird was found much later than last year.
Illinois' first human case of West Nile virus this year is in McHenry County. Health officials say a woman in her 50s got sick earlier this month. The state had nearly 300 human cases last year and a dozen people died. To date, birds and mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile virus have been reported in 50 counties.
Two crows in Winnebago County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The Winnebago County Health Department also found three mosquito pools that tested positive. So far this year, there have not been any human cases reported in the county. Last year, there were three human cases in Winnebago County. In 2012, county health officials confirmed 30 birds tested positive and 13 mosquito pools.
The first case of West Nile virus in DeKalb County has been reported to the county health department. A 59-year-old male county resident was diagnosed recently, a department spokesperson said.
“This is not unexpected,” said Jane Lux, Public Health Administrator at the DeKalb County Health Department, “due to the fact that there have been cases diagnosed throughout Illinois and the United States, and we know that mosquitoes in our area are infected.”
West Nile virus is striking people earlier than usual this year in Illinois, and health officials say the number of cases now stands at six. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Wednesday that human cases have been reported in Chicago, Evanston and several Chicago suburbs.