Mercer County reports its first human case of West Nile for 2016

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MERCER COUNTY, Illinois — A resident in the county has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, according to an official with the Health Department of Mercer County.

The health department was notified of the diagnosis during the week of September 18, 2016, said Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Angie Litterst.  Litterst said that although batches of mosquitoes in the county had tested positive for the virus, this is the county’s first human case of the virus for the year.

This case of West Nile has raised awareness for other residents in the county.  Litterst said it’s important to use mosquito-bite prevention tactics, like wearing bug spray, covering your bare skin and avoiding areas where mosquitoes are active.

Click here for ideas from the Center for Disease Control on how to avoid mosquito bites.

Litterst said that while some people infected with West Nile may experience mild symptoms like fever and aches, some people could be infected and never even know.  More severe cases can lead to paralysis, coma or death.