AMBOY – The Lee County Health Department found its first positive case of the West Nile virus during a batch test.
The sample was confirmed Aug. 29, from a batch test taken in the Amboy area, the department said in a news release, adding that there was no cause for alarm.
Bureau County also detected the virus in a horse, which indicates an increased risk of West Nile virus to humans, the release said.
Friday, the Whiteside Health Department announced that some mosquitoes in Rock Falls had tested positive for the virus.
A Culex mosquito spreads the virus through its bite. The mosquito picks up the virus by feeding on an infected bird and the mosquito populations don’t have to be large to spread the virus, the Lee County Health Department said.
According to the health department, only two out of 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito will become ill. The virus is “usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible,” the department said.
Reducing the number of mosquitoes around your home and taking personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites are the best way to prevent West Nile virus, the department said.
To learn more
Call the Lee County Health Department at 815-284-3371, or go to the Illinois Department of Public Health's website at www.idph.state.il.us for more information on West Nile virus.