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West Nile Virus Returns To Illinois

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CHICAGO, May 13, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Health inspectors in DuPage County west of Chicago have found a dead crow and two batches of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus.

A total of 54 people became ill, and one died, after being infected with West Nile last summer, which was cooler than 2002 when West Nile swept 100 of the state's 102 counties causing 884 human cases and 66 deaths.

The dead crow was collected in Downers Grove Monday and the infected mosquitoes were trapped in Wayne and Darien May 6, the Chicago Tribune said.

They are the first positive tests for West Nile in Illinois in 2004, said Dr. Eric Whitaker, state public health director.

West Nile virus is carried and spread to birds and humans by the bite of the culex mosquito. Governor Rod Blagojevich has given $2.3 million to local health departments to control West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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