HENRY — The Bureau, Putnam & Marshall County Health Department has confirmed that mosquitoes collected in Henry in Marshall County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
“We are urging the public to use precautions against mosquito bites while attending outdoor events,” said Hector Gomez, Bureau, Putnam and Marshall County Health Department administrator. “Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, however, severe illness including meningi-tis or even death can occur in rare cases.”
WHO'S AT RISK?
People older than 50 or those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness from the virus.
* Most people — eight out of 10 — infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.
* About one in five people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
* About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that sur-round the brain and spinal cord).
Reduce the chance of a bite and the number of places for mosquitoes to breed by eliminating shallow containers of standing water and refreshing bird baths daily. Ensure that doors and windows have tight, properly fitting screens. Take extra care during evening and early morning hours when mosquitoes are active, or if possible stay inside.
Repel mosquitoes by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks and by applying insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to product instruc-tions. Consult a physician before applying insect repellents on children.
Report areas where stagnant water has been sitting for more than a week, such as ditches or flooded yards.
For additional information regarding West Nile Virus call the health department at (815) 872-5091, or go to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s West Nile Virus website: http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm