CHAMPAIGN – They sneak into your house and hide until bedtime.
And when you fall asleep, they crawl out for the only dinner they ever want – your blood.
"And they don't wake you up," warns local Terminix owner Bill Fulton, who's been seeing bed-bug cases multiply over the last couple of years.
Public health experts are seeing the increase, too.
MONTICELLO – The Koenemans are bikers – mom, dad and son. At one rally they were near the water, and son Quinn spotted some geese.
"Quack," Quinn started saying, loud enough to compete with a revving motorcycle.
RANTOUL – Food contaminated by kitchen staff or students caused the illnesses of 20 people at Lincoln's Challenge Academy, according to county public health officials.
And an inspection of the kitchen and dining room the day the illnesses struck produced the lowest public health score in Champaign County since 1993.
CHAMPAIGN – With a signed state contract in hand, Prairie Center Health Systems plans to reopen its detoxification program within two months.
For the long run, though, it's looking to other local entities – hospitals, jails and county governments – to help fund the detox unit, which treated 803 people last fiscal year.
DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Health Department will offer a free, four-week smoking-cessation class beginning Feb. 19.
The class will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 19 and 26 and March 5 and 12. People attending the classes can receive four weeks of free nicotine replacement patches.
CHAMPAIGN – Christie Clinic is taking a new, personalized approach to help patients lower their risk of heart disease.
Through the clinic's new Caring for Your Heart program, patients enrolling will receive a consultation with a medical team including a cardiac nurse practitioner, dietitian and exercise physiologist.
DANVILLE – Prairie Center Health Systems is hosting its annual luncheon and training workshop Feb. 26 at Danville Area Community College, 2000 E. Main St., Danville.
Keynote speaker Phillip Valentine, executive director of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery in New Haven, Conn., once struggled with alcohol and cocaine addictions.
CHAMPAIGN – Free dental exams will be available for school-age children at an oral health fair Saturday at Market Place Mall in Champaign.
It will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Macy's wing of the mall.
Debbie Sans remembers it well – the way she'd go to bed at night exhausted but couldn't sleep.
The awful headaches she had, the irritability, the hot flashes that plagued her 35 times a day.
CHAMPAIGN – Some Parkland health professions students began learning this month in a brightly lit, newly remodeled space on North Mattis Avenue.
The building has comfortable classrooms, spacious labs, a kitchen, space for equipment used by occupational therapists, a room full of massage tables separated by curtains, and a hospital bed with an eerily realistic-looking patient.