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Dead Bird Found To Have West Nile Virus

(Fulton County, IL) -- Authorities in Fulton County have confirmed that a dead bird that was collected in Fulton County tested positive for West Nile Virus infection. Officials with the Fulton County Health Department say that the dead bird was collected in the Canton area on August 28th of last month and was then sent in for testing. The local health department received confirmation on Friday of last week that the bird had tested positive for the virus. Illinois' surveillance for West Nile virus began on May 1st and includes lab oratory tests on mosquitoes, dead crows and blue jays and the testing of sick horses and humans with West Nile like disease symptoms. Citizens who observe a sick or dying crow or blue jay should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird is to be picked up for testing. The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes aro9und your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include: avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Make sure you consult a physician before using repellents on infants. The Fulton County Health Department will continue to conduct surveillance for indications of West Nile Virus activity until a hard frost.

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