Illinois' first case this year of West Nile virus in a bird has been confirmed. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) the infected starling was collected by the Monroe County Health Department on June 27 in Waterloo, Ill.
This pattern of detection is part of an annual trend seen by health officials in which the West Nile virus is first detected in mosquitoes, followed by birds, and then, people. No cases have been reported so far this year in humans. However, according to health officials, it is only a matter of time before a person is infected.
A big jump in human cases of West Nile Virus in Illinois, Texas and Arkansas is prompting St. Louis County to boost its spraying to combat mosquitoes.
"An extra team of vector control employees will spray strategic areas in the early morning hours this week to reduce the number of breeding adult mosquitoes and knock down any that may be carrying West Nile Virus," Vector Control Operations Manager Drew Hane said. That team is a supplement to evening and overnight spraying efforts.
The county health department is urging residents to take the following steps:
Credit (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Local experts say this year’s mild winter and early spring won’t necessarily mean more insect pests like ticks and mosquitoes. The lone star tick (pictured) is the most common of several disease-carrying ticks in Missouri.
Despite cooler weather over the past several days, it's still mosquito season, and that means there's the potential for West Nile Virus cases.
The St. Louis County Department of Health has reported its first suspected human case. A 12-year-old boy from Wellston was briefly hospitalized with West Nile symptoms, though the department says he has returned to normal activities.
The county says there was one human case last year.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says a Cook County man in his 80s got sick earlier this month. A 30-year-old from south-central Illinois became ill in July. In 2010, the first human case was reported on Aug. 31 - 61 people eventually tested positive.