First West Nile of the Season Detected - NBC Chicago

First West Nile of the Season Detected

West Nile can be transmitted through mosquitos



    First West Nile of the Season Detected
    John Cornell
    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

    A new season, a new threat.

    Fresh off a winter filled with concern for H1N1 or Swine Flu, spring brings Illinoisans worry over the West Nile Virus.

    A house sparrow found in Carroll County in northwestern Illinois is the first bird to test positive for the West Nile virus in the state this year. 

    Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health say the bird was found in Lanark on May 8. A cowbird collected May 10 in Belleville in St. Clair County also tested positive. 

    Humans get the virus through the bite of a mosquito that has picked it up by feeding on an infected bird. 

    Public Health Director Damon Arnold says Illinois residents will be at increased risk of West Nile as the temperatures get warmer and mosquitoes become more active. Only about two people in 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Symptoms can be mild or serious.

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