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: