The presence of West Nile virus in Greene County is being confirmed.
According to an article in the Jacksonville Journal Courier, Greene County health officials confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in a mosquito found near Roodhouse.
Stephen D. Shireman, environmental health services director with the Greene County Health Department says his agency looks for the presence of West Nile by collecting samples from machines throughout the county.
According to the Journal Courier article, this confirmation is the first such finding of West Nile in Greene or surrounding counties. The closest such case, according to the article, was when the Illinois Department of Public Health found mosquito carrying West Nile in Godfrey back in May.
Citing the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the article goes on to say that despite the illness’s ability to cause a range of symptoms and in some cases even death, most people who become infected by West Nile do not show any symptoms. The federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention also says that less than one percent of those infected by West Nile develop serious neurological illness.
Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health say while cases of West Nile are found in Illinois each year, taking precautionary measures like ridding homes of areas with standing water and wearing insect repellent are still important.
West Nile virus is spread through mosquito bites, so those at the highest risk are people working outside, especially during dusk and dawn, when the presence of mosquitoes is the most substantial, according to the article.
As for how to protect against the illness, The Illinois Department of Public Health says two of the most effective measures are to wear insect repellent and protective clothing.