Chicago Tribune
June 19, 2011

Health officials said today they have found the first birds to be infected with West Nile virus this year in Illinois in LaSalle and Sandwich counties.

The birds were collected on June 8 and tested positive for the virus today, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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“With the temperature heating up, we could see more West Nile virus circulating. In hotter weather we typically see more West Nile virus activity,” Damon Arnold, the state public health director, said. “Although most cases of West Nile virus are mild, the virus can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease. That is why it is so important to protect yourself against mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of any standing water around your home.”

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