The Ogle County Health Department (OCHD) has confirmed the second positive case of West Nile Virus after a dead crow in Oregon tested positive for the disease.
The OCHD warns people who see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes which have fed off an infected bird. Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, and can last from a few days to a few weeks.
In rare cases, illnesses including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
The OCHD recommends that people make sure their windows and doors have tight fitting screens, and keep doors and windows shut. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, including bird baths, ponds, flower pots, wading pools, old tires, and other containers.
When outdoors, people should wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long sleeved shirt and apply insect repellent, the OCHD says.