Illinois Logs First Avian WNV Case for 2006

(Edited press release)

The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced its first avian West Nile virus (WNV) finding for 2006. Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, said a crow collected by the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department had WNV.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) was notified by the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department of the findings as part of its routine WNV surveillance.The positive crow was collected on May 31 in Farmer City.

"This crow is more evidence of West Nile virus activity in the state," said Whitaker. "So far this year we've seen positive test results for the virus in mosquitoes in northern and southern Illinois, and now this bird in central Illinois." The finding should serve as a reminder to residents to protect themselves and their horses from the disease. 

Last year, 57 of the state's 102 counties logged WNV-positive birds, mosquitoes, horses, or humans. A total of 252 human cases of WNV disease, including twelve deaths, were reported last year in Illinois.

Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois began May 1 and includes laboratory tests on mosquitoes, dead crows, blue jays, and robins, and the testing of sick horses and humans with WNV-like disease symptoms. Citizens who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay or robin should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird is to be picked up for testing.

Learn more about WNV in Illinois at or by calling the WNV Hotline at 866/369-9710 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).

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