WATSEKA, Ill. (WCIA) — Health officials in Iroquois County announced on Tuesday that a mosquito pool collected from the Watseka area has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

This is the first positive test result of West Nile Virus in Iroquois County in 2022. So far this year, 27 counties in Illinois have reported a positive West Nile specimen, but no human cases have been reported. The Iroquois County Public Health Department will continue to monitor for the presence of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitoes in the Watseka area.

West Nile Virus spreads through mosquito bites, with mosquitoes picking up the virus from feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms in humans typically last from a few days to a few weeks and include fever, nausea, a headache and muscle aches; however, four of five infected humans will not show any symptoms.

In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or even death can occur. People older than 60 or with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for severe illness.

People can prevent the spread of West Nile Virus by preventing mosquito bites, which can be accomplished using the following methods:

  • Make sure doors and windows are shut and have tight-fitting screens with no holes tears or openings.
  • Eliminate or refresh all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed every week. These sources include birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and other water containers
  • Wear shoes and socks, pants, long-sleeved shirts and insect repellent when outdoors.
  • Report locations where water sits stagnant for more than a week, including roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations.

Additional information about West Nile Virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website.