Authorities have warned that a batch of mosquitoes have tested positive for the potentially deadly virus in Will County.
The West Nile Virus has arrived in Will County in Illinois, authorities confirmed after a batch of mosquitoes tested positive for the illness. It is the first detection in Will County this year.
There have also been confirmations of West Nile-infected mosquitoes in Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties in the state, according to a CLTV report.
There were 44 human cases of West Nile virus in the state of Illinois last year, which resulted in four deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
People who get the virus often do not detect any symptoms, but 20 percent get body aches, fevers, and headaches. In severe cases, it can result in meningitis or encephalitis, and it can result in death.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-born illness which is commonly transferred to humans via bites. You can avoid contracting the virus by using insect repellant when outdoors, or by wearing protective clothing to prevent the mosquito from gaining access to your skin.
Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent WNV infection, nor are there any medications to treat it, but most people don’t get symptoms anyway.
Also, less than 1 percent who contract the virus develop a serious and sometimes fatal neurologic illness.
The West Nile Virus was first identified in the West Nile subregion in Uganda in East Africa in 1937. The disease was sporadic until the mid-1990s when an outbreak in Algeria and in Romania resulted in a high number of human cases. Now, WNV can be found globally, with the first American case happening in New York City in 1999.