Testing on mosquitoes caught last month at Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn have now revealed that they carry the West Nile Virus. According to the Illinois Department of Health, this is the first time the virus has been observed in Northern Illinois this year.
The samples of mosquitoes which tested positive were collected by department of health employees on May 21 and May 26 at Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park, respectively.
The West Nile Virus is usually spread to humans through a mosquito bite, but an infected mosquito gets the virus from feeding from an infected bird. Common symptoms of the virus include nausea, headache, fever, muscle aches, and more. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. And while Many symptoms exist, 75% of infected won’t exhibit any symptoms, according to the Department of Health.
It said that in rare instances, the virus can result in severe illness, including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death. Last year, the department reported 44 human cases of the virus, although it noted that numbers of human infections are under-reported.
However, there have been rare instances where the virus has cause dangerous symptoms such as meningitis, encephalitis, and death.