Illinois officials - Crow did not die from West Nile

Thursday, June 26, 2003

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois health officials now say a Cook County crow did not die from the West Nile virus after all.

Officials said last week that an initial test showed the crow had the mosquito-borne disease that can be fatal to humans.

But the Department of Public Health said Tuesday that a second test found the bird was negative for West Nile.

Two birds in Illinois have died this spring from the disease -- one in Henderson County and the second in Kankakee County.

Illinois led the nation last summer with nearly 900 cases of the virus and 64 deaths.

Nationally, 284 people died out of 4,156 cases.

The dead crow in Cook County initially was deemed significant because that's where 634 cases and 38 deaths from the virus occurred last year.

In humans, West Nile can cause headaches or body aches and can even cause potentially fatal encephalitis in the elderly or those with weak immune systems.

Officials urge residents to reduce stagnant water and wear repellant and long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially at dusk and dawn, to avoid infection.


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