The warm weather could mean increased cases of West Nile virus. State officials started testing several weeks ago, and a mosquitoe batch collected in Godfrey a few days ago has come back positive for the virus. Mosquitoes feed on infected birds and then pass the virus on to humans. Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. But not everyone who gets the West Nile will know they have it.
Officials say four out of five people infected won't show any symptoms. A total of 34 Illinoisans contracted the West Nile virus last year, three died. The Madison County Health Department says you can play a role in preventing the disease. The best way is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Some precautions include staying indoors between dusk and dawn when the insects are most active, applying insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when you're outside, and eliminate all sources of standing water around your home.