Some 56 counties in Illinois have reported West Nile Virus in found in humans, birds, horses and mosquitoes. That information is from the Illinois Department of Public Health.  According to the Adams County Health Department there have been NO positive reports of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes or birds in Adams County this year.With that said, the warm summer weather means mosquitoes are still active and the presence of West Nile Virus is still a possibility.

The Adams County Health Department is collecting a small number of birds throughout the county as part of its West Nile virus surveillance program. If a dead bird is found and there is no obvious cause of death, please  contact the Health Department to see if the bird can be submitted for testing.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.

In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and  report.  Reduce exposure, use Repellents and Report a dead bird with no obvious cause of death to the Adams County Health Department at 217-277-2215.