Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Crete

SHARE Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Crete
SHARE Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Crete

A batch of mosquitoes collected in south suburban Crete has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The mosquitoes were collected from a Will County Health Department monitoring site, officials said. They tested positive for the virus late Thursday.

“We’re experiencing drier weather conditions and we know that means a greater potential for WNV,” according to Will County Health Department Executive Director John Cicero.

“This is certainly not unusual for the middle of August,” Cicero said. “We’re currently seeing levels of disease almost identical to what we saw a year ago.”

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois as of Aug. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The 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, according to the IDPH.

Most people infected will not show any symptoms, but in rare cases patients can be come severely ill or die. Those over 50 and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness.

To avoid West Nile, residents should limit time outside between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. Eliminate sources of standing water, and wear long sleeves, pants and mosquito repellent when outside, health officials recommend.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,271 positive mosquito tests statewide last year, along with 41 West Nile-positive birds, 44 human cases and four deaths. No human cases were reported in Will County last year.

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