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Mosquito batch tests positive for West Nile

WOODSTOCK – McHenry County Department of Health officials have confirmed that the West Nile virus is in the area.

A trap of mosquitoes in Woodstock tested positive for the virus, the health department said in a news release.

The last positive test for West Nile virus in McHenry County was last year.

The health department has tested 103 mosquito pools this year, but previously none had tested positive, the department said.

Twelve other counties in the state have reported positive mosquito batches and birds for West Nile.

There have been two human cases of West Nile, as well.

Illness from West Nile virus usually is mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death, are possible. 

People 50 and older have the highest risk of severe disease. 

The county will continue to collect and test mosquito pools through the remainder of the season, which typically lasts until mid-October, the news release said. The department of health will accept a limited number of birds for testing. 

Residents should continue to use insect repellent when going outside in the evening, and they should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants for extra protection.

People should empty standing water from containers around the house and make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, the health department said.

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