The Madison County Health Department collected the first mosquitoes in Illinois that tested positive for West Nile virus in 2017.
The mosquitoes were collected May 22 and 23 in Godfrey, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“The weather is warming up, and we’re starting to see West Nile virus,” IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah stated in a news release.
Symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches and muscle pain, which may last from a few days to a few weeks, according to the department.
In 2016, West Nile was found May 20 in Illinois. That year, the state had 152 human cases of the virus, which is under reported, including five deaths, according to the department.
There hadn’t been any reported human cases in 2017 as of the news release.
To protect oneself against West Nile, IDPH recommended that people wear body-covering clothes when outdoors, repair screens, shut doors and windows, and report stagnant water to local health departments, which could administer larvicide.