WCSJ Photo

WCSJ Photo 

The Grundy County Health Department recently collected a bird in the Goose Lake Township area that has tested positive for West Nile virus.  The bird, a common crow, was collected on September 18, 2020.  This is the first bird to test positive in Grundy County this year. 

Surveillance for West Nile virus in Grundy County includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds.  People who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact the Grundy County Health Department Environmental Health Division at (815) 941-3115, which will determine if the bird will be collected for testing. 

West Nile virus is not spread by person-to-person contact or directly from birds to people; humans become infected through the bite of an infected mosquito. 

To minimize your risks, follow the Illinois Department of Public Health’s recommended practices: Reduce, Repel and Report.  Reduce exposure by avoiding the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.   You can also make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.

Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.  Repel the mosquitoes when outdoors by wearing shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.  IDPH recommends that you apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.

They encourage that you consult a physician before using repellents on infants.  Finally, report or eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

According to the IDPH web-site, “mild cases of West Nile infections may cause a slight fever or headache. More severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever with head and body aches, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, paralysis or death.

”These symptoms will typically appear between and three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. IDPH’s web-site also states, “Persons at the highest risk for serious illness are those 50 years of age or older.”

For further information regarding West Nile Virus, contact the Grundy County Health Department at 815-941-3115.   Please visit the following link for more information:

https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/environmental-health-protection/vector-control-surveillance