West Nile Infected Horse In Rock Island County - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

West Nile Infected Horse In Rock Island County

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The following is a release from the Illinois Department of Public Health:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has reported a Rock Island County horse infected with West Nile virus (WNV).  Horses can become infected when they are bitten by mosquitoes that carry the virus.  The mosquitoes pick up the virus as a result of taking a blood meal from an infected wild bird.

As of October 2nd, 2013; Rock Island County has not reported any positive human infections.  In addition, there have not been any positive tests on dead bird or mosquito samples.  In Illinois there have been forty human cases and two deaths.    A WNV positive horse is generally regarded as an indicator of an increased risk of WNV disease in humans.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, relates that the first West Nile virus related deaths occurred later this year than is typical in Illinois.  He also cautions that "even with the cooler temperatures, until the first hard freeze, you still need to protect yourself against mosquito bites and possible West Nile virus infection."

The best way to prevent mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.