10 June 2010

Illinois Mosquitoes Test Postive for West Nile Virus


SHAWNEETOWN, Ill. -- Mosquitoes in southern Illinois' Gallatin (GAL'-uht'n) County are the first in the state to test positive for West Nile virus this year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says the Egyptian Health Department collected the positive mosquito sample on June 3 in Shawneetown.

Birds have tested positive for West Nile so far this year in seven counties across the state.

Public health director Damon Arnold says the positive samples are a reminder to people to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

West Nile is transmitted through being bitten by an infected mosquito or eating an infected bird.

There were five human cases of West Nile virus reported in Illinois last year, down from a high of 252 cases in 2005.

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