West Nile Virus detected in Boone County in 2021

Local News

BOONE COUNTY—Routine mosquito testing has identified the first mosquitoes positive for West Nile
Virus (WNV) in Boone County in 2021. The mosquitoes were collected in the Capron zip code on July
27th. Boone County has no positive birds or human cases of WNV. To date no human cases have
been reported in Illinois.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding
on an infected bird. Four out of five people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will not experience
any illness. Those who do get sick commonly experience fever, nausea, headache and body aches
within 3 to 14 days of the bite. However, serious illness such as encephalitis and meningitis, with
lingering complications and even death, are possible.

“The best way to prevent West Nile encephalitis and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to reduce the
number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood and to take personal precautions to
avoid mosquito bites,” said Amanda Mehl, Public Health Administrator of the Boone County Health Department.

REDUCE exposure – avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between
dusk and dawn. Keep doors and windows closed. Eliminate sources of standing water where
mosquitoes can breed, including wading pools, old tires, and other receptacles. Change bird bath
water weekly.
REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Apply EPAregistered
insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535
according to label instructions.
REPORT – The Health Department is monitoring freshly-dead birds, such as crows or blue jays. The
birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma. To report a dead bird, call 815-544-2951. Be
prepared to give the location, date and time you found the dead bird. You may also contact the Health
Department to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations
that may produce mosquitoes. The Department is relying on county residents to help identify and
report potential mosquito breeding areas in and around underdeveloped or abandoned residential
building sites and swimming pools.

To learn more about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases and about prevention
methods, read the other materials available on the IDPH West Nile virus Web site or contact the
Illinois Department of Public Health West Nile virus information hotline at 866-369-9710, Monday –
Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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