You probably feel puny or develop a case of the crud a time or two a year. How do you know if the “flu-like symptoms” we hear about add up to the mosquito-borne West Nile virus?
“The only definitive way to determine if it's West Nile virus is through the appropriate laboratory testing of blood samples,” says Linn Haramis, IDPH entomologist. “You can't diagnose it in a doctor's office.”
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The department says up to 80 percent of those infected will have no symptoms. Most of those showing symptoms will complain of a slight fever or headache, but Haramis adds you can imagine it as the worst headache you can think of.
Prevention of the illness includes dumping standing water, using insect repellent with DEET, and wearing pants and long sleeves.
Illinois has recorded one human case of West Nile so far in 2015: a young girl from St Clair County.