First West Nile death reported in Illinois this year
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Will County man dies of West Nile
[AUG. 25, 2006]
-- A Will County man in his 60s is the first reported death from
West Nile virus this year in Illinois. The Will County Health
Department reported its first human case of West Nile virus Tuesday
and the man died Wednesday morning.
As of Wednesday, the Illinois
Department of Public Health had reports of 15 human cases of West
Nile virus across the state, and now one death. The DuPage County
Health Department reported a woman in her 70s with neuroinvasive
disease. There were nine cases of neuroinvasive disease in Cook
County, ranging from a 10-year-old boy to a woman in her 80s.
Crawford County reported a man in his 50s with neuroinvasive
disease, and Kane County reported a woman in her 70s with the
disease. A St. Clair County women in her 30s was diagnosed with
neuroinvasive disease, while the first West Nile virus case in
Illinois this year was a St. Clair County man in his 60s with West
Nile fever. Ten more human cases were reported by Thursday.
threat of contracting West Nile virus spans across Illinois, and
people everywhere need to take precautions, especially older adults
who typically suffer more serious effects from the disease," said
Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. "We are seeing
West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes this year that approaches
levels seen during 2002, when Illinois led the nation in cases. This
fact should serve as a warning to people to protect themselves
against mosquito bites."
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito
that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most
people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some
may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected
Only about two people out of 10 who are bitten by an infected
mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile disease
is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but
serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are
possible. People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of
By Thursday, 60 counties out of 102 had reported positive test
results for West Nile virus in mosquitoes and birds. For a list of
those counties, check the Department of Public Health
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Individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile illness and other
mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:
outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between
dusk and dawn.
wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt, and
apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of
lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a
physician before using repellents on infants.
Make sure doors
and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace
screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and
windows shut, especially at night.
sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding,
including water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools,
old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there
are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal
government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside
ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found at
www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm, or people can call the
West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m.
Department of Public Health news release]