ROCK ISLAND -- The Rock Island County Health Department has confirmed the first West Nile virus positive mosquito batch reported in the county for 2017.
The positive test affirms the presence of the virus in the county. Health department officials stated that, with summertime weather conditions now present, both mosquito and viral activity will be increasing. They reminded residents to minimize exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate standing water that allows mosquitoes to breed.
The department operates mosquito traps and accepts dead birds submitted for testing for the presence of West Nile virus. Birds that have been hit by a vehicle, crashed into a building, or have been attacked by other animals are not eligible. People can report dead birds for possible collection by calling 309-558-2840.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by
feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches; symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.
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Four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 and immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
The Illinois Department of Public Health advises the public practice the three “R’s” – reduce exposure, repel mosquitoes and report dead birds.
For more details, visit richd,org or dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/west-nile-virus.