Bird in Crystal Lake tests positive for West Nile virus

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 3:55 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A robin found in Crystal Lake has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

As of Tuesday, there have been five positive mosquito batches reported in McHenry County but no human cases of West Nile virus.  According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 17 other counties have reported positive bird and mosquito batches; no human cases have been reported so far this year.     

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Illness usually is mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis and death, are possible. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.  Persons 50 and older have the highest risk of severe disease.  

The risk of disease from West Nile virus remains until the first hard frost. The best way to prevent West Nile is to reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites around one's home and to take personal precautions. 

For information on West Nile virus, visit www.mcdh.info or call 815-334-4585.

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