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Local

Three birds positive for West Nile virus

Two birds collected near Batavia

BATAVIA – Three birds – including two near Batavia – have tested positive for the West Nile virus in Kane County.

The birds were the first this year to test positive for the virus in Kane County, although mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile over the past few weeks.

“We’re seeing the typical progression as it proliferates in the area,” said Tom Schlueter, Kane County Health Department spokesman.

Two of the birds were collected in different locations near Batavia, and another was collected in Aurora. West Nile is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some might become ill up to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, Schlueter said.

So far, there have been no human cases of West Nile reported in Kane County or the state. Last year, Kane County had 13 human cases of West Nile virus and one death.

“Last summer was unusually hot and dry,” Schlueter said.

He said a hot and dry summer provides ideal conditions for the species of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.

To prevent West Nile virus or any other mosquito-borne illnesses, he said residents should take such precautions as avoiding being outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

For information, visit www.kanehealth.com/west_nile.htm.

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