• West Nile Virus confirmed in Marion County

    by  • July 3, 2013 • News

    Public health officials have confirmed a mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus has been located in the City of Salem; this is according to City Manager Bill Gruen.

    In the metro-east, officials have also identified another batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus, onMosquito_rdax_400x277 Monday the St. Clair County health department found a mosquito pool positive for the virus in Shiloh and positive mosquitoes also was found in Madison County near Granite City and in east St. Louis.

    Positive mosquito batches have been found in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, and Perry Counties.

    So far, no human cases have been reported in Illinois this season.

    Last year, 55 counties in Illinois reported positive for West Nile mosquito batches, birds or human cases. The year also was the second highest for West Nile Virus human cases in state history with 290 reported cases and 12 deaths. The worst year was in 2002 when 884 Illinois residents were infected with the virus and 67 died.

    The virus is carried by the Culex mosquito, which is a different species than the floodwater mosquitoes which appear due to heavy rains.

    The best way to prevent West Nile infection is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home and take precautions against mosquito bites by reducing exposure to mosquitoes, repelling mosquitoes and reporting standing, stagnant water to city officials.

    The virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus experience no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

    About two of every 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito will become ill.

    Illness from West Nile usually is mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, and rarely, more serious illness such as encephalitis and meningitis and death are possible.

    People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.