First avian case of West Nile virus in 2014 confirmed

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SPRINGFIELD - The first positive tests for West Nile virus in mosquitoes and birds have been confirmed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

According to department officials, a bird that was infected with the virus was found by Henry County Health Department employees on May 29 in Colona.  A day later, the Madison County Health Department found mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile in Godfrey.

Mosquitoes can pick up the virus by feeding on infected birds and passing it on through their bites.  Common symptoms include fever, nausea, head, and muscle aches.

Public Health officials say that virus activity is largely dependent on the weather, and that surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois includes tests on mosquito batches and dead birds and crows, as well as sick humans and horses.

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