McLean County Health Department | WGLT

McLean County Health Department

Mike Mozart / Flickr

A third mosquito pool in McLean County has tested positive for West Nile Virus. County health department senior sanitarian Angie Crawford said, with a probable human case and an expanded geographic area, there's heightened awareness needed with the mostly-cool holiday weekend approaching.

Illinois Department of Public Health

For the second time in a week, the McLean County Health Department reports positive detection for the presence of West Nile Virus in the 61705 area code outside of Bloomington.

Last Friday, the department reported three indicators for the mosquito-borne disease west of Bloomington in a bird, mosquito and a probable human case. The latest notification is for a mosquito pool that tested positive. Department officials say a second positive test in the same area code indicates an increased risk of possible human infection.

Scott Blanner / USDA

McLean County has hit all three indicators of West Nile virus for the year in one day.

The Health Department says there is a probable human case of West Nile in the county.

OSF Healthcare

For the first time hospitals in Bloomington Normal, the McLean County Health Department, and other stakeholders are working together on a community health needs assessment.

GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with Meredith Nelson of OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center and Health Department Assistant Director Cathy Coverston-Anderson about the plan and why hasn't this happened years ago?

McLean County Health Department

The last several weeks have involved a great deal of public turmoil involving a strained relationship between the County Health Department and its Board of Health and the County Board. Investigative efforts by the Bloomington Pantagraph turned up thousands of e-mails among health board members, and Health Department Director Walt Howe with some members of the board scheming to elect their slate of officers friendly to Howe's position.

McLean County Health Dept. Seeks Resident Data

Apr 8, 2016
Mark Wolfe / FEMA

The McLean County Health Department wants to know who you are. The department is sending out questionnaires, and going door-to-door collecting data on residents.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture / Flickr via Creative Commons

A man who traveled to South America has developed the third case of Zika virus in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health previously reported two pregnant women tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus after traveling in Honduras and Haiti. The department announced the third Illinois case on its website Thursday. Most people exposed to the virus suffer only mild symptoms, but the risk is far greater for pregnant women because of a possible link to a birth defect.

The McLean County Health Department says the mumps virus has returned to the Bloomington Normal area. Spokeswoman Lisa Slater says there are so far four cases reported ranging in age from six to 37. There are no obvious links among the cases. Slater says to be labeled an outbreak, there must be three related cases.

Some months ago, most major schools in the Bloomington Normal community had outbreaks with dozens of cases reported overall. Since then the cluster subsided. But, the virus is quite contagious and Slater says more could be reported.

McLean County Health Department

Bloomington-Normal is ranked 80th in the U.S. by Nielsen as one of the best places in the country to open a restaurant, in part because of disposable income and our proclivity to dine out. According to Nielsen, Bloomington is also ranked 9th in sales per restaurant, with establishments raking in nearly 1.2 million dollars on average. The nearly 400 restaurants in Bloomington-Normal, in addition to those in other McLean County communities are inspected twice or more per year by the McLean County Health Department and now those inspections are online.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department is revising its proposed budget for next fiscal year, after some members of the county board health committee questioned the recommended removal of nearly 50% of drug court funding. County Administrator Bill Wasson says most of the drug court funds are being restored.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department wants to shift money away from drug court treatment and to other programs. Next year's proposed budget reduces county funding for drug court by $100,000 at a time when the county just asked for and received mental health funding from increased sales taxes in Bloomington and Normal. Health Department Director Walt Howe says changes in federal programs can replace the money because single men are now eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act expansion of Medicaid.

Graham Beard / Wikimedia Commons

Mumps have not subsided in Bloomington Normal. The McLean County Health Department has issued a notice that Normal Community High School is the site of the latest cluster of related mumps cases. Outbreaks were reported earlier at University High School, Normal West, BHS, Heartland Community College and ISU.

The health department says the latest total is 36 positive cases. There could be more because the time between exposure to the disease and the appearance of symptoms is between 12 and 25 days. And people with the virus can be infectious before they show symptoms.

The McLean County Health Department is looking into cases of mumps in the area. Department Director Walt Howe says the ages of the sick people range from 19 years old down to less than a year.

Howe says they cannot yet label it an outbreak because investigators have not linked the cases. He also says workers will be looking at possible connections to the University of Illinois which has had more than 100 cases of mumps this year, the bulk of the reports in the state.

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