Greene County Health Dept. Announces Presence of West Nile

By Benjamin Cox on October 7, 2020 at 5:59pm

The Greene County Health Department announced today that they have found the presence of the West Nile Virus in a pool of mosquitoes. During their annual testing, the positive mosquito pool was found in the county yesterday.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.  Common West Nile Virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.  Symptoms may last from a few days to several weeks.

Greene County Health Department Director Molly Peters says that people should remember the 3 “R’s” when it comes to West Nile: Reduce exposure by making sure doors and windows are properly closed with tight-fitting screens and keep them shut from dusk till dawn as well eliminating standing water; Repel by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants as well as applying DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535; and Report any nuisances that contribute to the breeding of mosquitoes.

The Health Department will accept dead birds up to October 15th. Upon seeing a dead bird within 48 hours, contact the Health Department for collection at 217-942-6961.

4 out of 5 people usually are asymptomatic with West Nile. However, according to the Health Department and the CDC, rare cases can cause severe illness including meningitis, encephalitis, and even death. People older than 50 are at high risk for severe illness. Common symptoms are fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches.