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Bird found in Morton tests positive for West Nile

MORTON (WEEK) -- A bird found in Morton has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The Village of Morton says they were notified by the Tazewell County Health Department.

The health department said in a release that the bird was found in the village in mid-September and then tested.

“West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people. It is important to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home,” said TCHD Environmental Health Director, Melissa Goetze. “It is important to remember that no matter what season it is, there is an ongoing risk of disease from a mosquito bite after it feeds on an infected bird.”

Precautions to Fight the Bite include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.

  • REDUCE - make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.
  • REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito larvae.

TCHD tests mosquito pools throughout the county and dead birds from May 15 – October 15 each year for West Nile virus. Additional information about West Nile virus in Tazewell County can be found here:

If anyone has immediate questions on the West Nile Virus, please contact the Tazewell County Health Department at 309-925-5511.

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