First bird in county tests positive for West Nile virus

July 17, 2018 GMT

SYCAMORE – A crow found in Sycamore tested positive for the West Nile virus recently, DeKalb County Health Department officials said in a news release.

This is the first bird found in the county this year that tested positive for the disease, according to the release. The health department collects some dead birds to be sent to the state lab for testing and must not show any signs of decay, trauma, maggot or insect activity.

West Nile virus is transmitted through bites from mosquitoes that picked up the virus after feeding on an infected bird. Most affected people will not show any symptoms of the illness, but two out of 10 people bitten might become sick three to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

People mildly affected by West Nile might have a fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible, the release said. People older than 50 have the highest risk of severe symptoms.

County officials said the best way to prevent West Nile or any mosquito-borne illness is to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. That includes using bug spray, making sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and limiting the amount of standing water near your home, the release said.

Additional information can be found on the DeKalb County Health Department’s Web site at dekalbcounty.org.