West Nile Virus

(via Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

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.

(via Flickr/John Tann)

St. Louis County has reported its first probable human case of West Nile Virus.

The victim was a 55-year-old woman from Kirkwood. She’s believed to have contracted the mosquito-transmitted disease early this summer and has since completely recovered.

The Director of Communicable Disease Control at the St. Louis County Department of Health, Dr. Faisal Khan, says most people who are infected with the virus don’t develop any symptoms.

Mild cases experience something like the flu, but about 1 in 150 people will get severely ill.

This year is on track to be the worst ever for West Nile virus in the United States. Here are the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 1,590 reported cases, nearly 500 more than a week ago for a rise of 44 percent.
  • 889 cases, or 56 percent, involve severe neurological disease.
  • 66 deaths, compared to 41 last week.
(via Flickr/John Tann)

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:

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. mountain lions are visitors, not natives

The number of mountain lion sightings in the state of Missouri is on the rise, and DNA tests show some of them are visiting from other states.

The Missouri Conservation Department confirmed 14 mountain lion sightings last year – that’s up from a total of 12 in the previous 16 years.

(via Flickr/wild_turkey5300)

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.

(via Flickr/James Jordan)

Two men in Illinois are the first human cases of West Nile virus in the state.

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.

(via Flickr/John Tann)

The Saint Louis County Health Department has found the first mosquitoes of the season carrying West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have been found in St. Louis Co. communities including Clayton, Florissant, Hanley Hills, Lemay, Manchester, Mehlville, Richmond Heights.

No human cases have been reported.