The Daily Northwestern

First West Nile-positive bird discovered in Evanston

Patrick Svitek, Summer Editor

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A bird found in Evanston has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first one this year, the city announced Thursday.

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District collected and studied the bird earlier this week, the city said.

Although the city has not seen any human cases of the virus yet, the Evanston Health Department is urging residents to practice three “R’s”: reduce the time they spend outside, wear insect repellant when outdoors and report mosquito-friendly conditions such as standing water and flooded lawns.

The virus caused 12 deaths last year in Illinois, according to the state health department.

“Despite the lower level of West Nile Virus activity so far this year as compared to this time last year, we continue to emphasize mosquito prevention measures to Evanston residents,” health department director Evonda Thomas-Smith said in a news release.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Ald. Mark Tendam (6th) told residents to heed the health department’s advice.

“This whole area is particularly cursed with this virus, so please take every precaution that you can,” he said.

— Patrick Svitek

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About the Writer
Patrick Svitek, City Editor

Patrick Svitek was City editor of The Daily. His other past positions include managing editor, online managing editor, Web editor, City editor, assistant City editor, copy editor, reporter and designer. He is from Fort Wayne, Ind., and has interned at the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Medill News Service, Patch, The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and The News-Banner (Bluffton, Ind.).