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Illinois quick hits: Zombie cicada fungus detected; State Fair rodeo tickets on sale

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Caution with children around water

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is reminding parents and caregivers of the importance of always supervising children when they are in or near water to avoid the tragedy of accidental drowning deaths.

In 2023, 20 Illinois children lost their lives to accidental drowning, including eight in pools, four in lakes and two in ponds. Thirteen of the children were ages 5 and younger; including six of the children who drowned in pools.

‘Zombie’ cicada fungus detected

As Illinois deals with an onslaught of cicadas for the next few weeks, now there’s word of a sexually transmitted disease that turns cicadas into “zombies.”

The fungal parasite targets periodical cicadas in particular and has been detected in the Midwest. Entomologists said the insects are sterilized, not killed. The fungus also has hallucinatory effects on birds that eat the cicadas.

State Fair rodeo tickets on sale

The Illinois State Fair Box Office opened this week for in-person ticket purchases.

In addition to concert tickets, fairgoers will be able to purchase tickets at the box office for events at The Arena including Illinois State Fair Rodeo, Truck and Tractor Pull, and the Demolition Derby.

The 2024 Illinois State Fair runs from Aug. 8 through Aug. 18 in Springfield.