West Nile Virus

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A dead crow found on July 8 in Boone Bounty tests positive for the west Nile virus. The crow was found 10 miles from the Boone and Winnebago county line.

Since 1999, 128 humans have been infected and 11 of them have died. West Nile is spread by mosquitoes to birds and humans. Symptoms range from a mild cold or flu to fevers, disorientation and, in rare cases, death.

Boone County health department administrators said their first line of defense against West Nile will be education. Warning people to use insect repellant and eliminate mosquito-breeding areas on or near their property.

Meanwhile, in Winnebago County, health administrators believe west Nile is already in the Rockford area. They said it's just a waiting game before a dead crow comes back positive.

While administrators wait, they will start up a mosquito trapping campaign - traps similar to this one in Boone County will be installed at various locations beginning next week.