The bird was picked up in the 23000 block of Ash Street on Sept. 9 and shipped to the University of Illinois Veterinary Laboratory complex in Champaign Urbana for laboratory analysis. Environmental Health received word of a positive confirmation for WNV early Monday, Sept. 23.
The crow is the first bird from Will County to test positive for the virus; the health department had previously submitted eight birds from WNV analysis but none came back positive. Statewide, more than 65 birds and more than 2,240 mosquito samples have already tested positive for the virus.
Earlier this month, mosquito samples from Plainfield and Bolingbrook came back WNV positive, according to the health department.
Read: Plainfield Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile
Nearly 60 percent of Illinois counties have reported some form of WNV activity this summer, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Will County Health Department. No human infections have been identified in Will County, but 14 human cases and two fatalities have been confirmed by the state Health Department.
Will County Environmental Health is still conducting mosquito testing and dead bird monitoring. The location of dead birds can be reported through the agency’s 24-hour West Nile Virus Information Line: 815-740-7631.
WNV is a potentially serious mosquito-borne infection common to Illinois since 2002. The state reported 290 human cases and 12 fatalities in 2012.
Take precautions against mosquito bites
Health officials continue to recommend personal protection measures against mosquito bites. Recommendations include: insect repellent containing DEET; long sleeves, pants, shoes and socks; eliminating water in bird baths, flower pots and any other outdoor containers; and the repair of any screens, or other openings that may allow mosquitoes to gain home entry.
For more information about WNV, visit www.idph.state.il.us.
Will County WNV surveillance is made possible through grant funding provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.