The West Nile Virus has now been confirmed in 17 Illinois counties. The virus has started popping up in not just mosquito batches, but also birds now, says state Department of Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold.
2012 was a rough summer for West Nile, with 290 people infected and 12 deaths. Arnold says how the rest of this summer plays out hinges on the weather. The mosquito that transmits the virus thrives in hot, dry conditions which haven’t been as prevalent this year.