The first signs of the West Nile virus are being confirmed in Illinois. The first case of 2016 is a blue jay found in Douglas county. State Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says that West Nile usually starts appearing in the area around July and this year is no different. Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.

Arnold says that despite all the talk about the Zika virus, West Nile is a much bigger concern for Illinois

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The best way to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the viruses they carry is to wear insect repellant, and making sure there is no standing water near your home that mosquitoes can breed in.


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