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11 new cases of West Nile in Illinois

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[SEPT. 27, 2006]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has received reports of 11 new cases of West Nile virus. This year's total is 172 human cases. The latest reported cases are:

  • Brown County woman in her 30s with neuroinvasive disease

  • Clay County man in his 40s with West Nile fever

  • Cook County man in his 60s with neuroinvasive disease

  • Cook County woman in her 70s with neuroinvasive disease

  • Crawford County woman in her 30s with neuroinvasive disease

  • DuPage County man in his 60s with neuroinvasive disease

  • DuPage County man in his 70s with neuroinvasive disease

  • McHenry County woman in her 50s with West Nile disease

  • Monroe County woman in her 70s with neuroinvasive disease

  • Will County man in his 50s with West Nile fever

  • Woodford County man in his 80s with neuroinvasive disease

Only about two out of 10 people 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 severe disease.

"Mosquitoes are still present -- despite the cooler temps. Keep mindful of this and protect yourself from being bitten," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.

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 mosquito.

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As of Tuesday, 83 counties out of 102 had reported positive test results for West Nile virus in mosquitoes, birds and horses. A list of those counties is available on the Department of Public Health website.

Individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile illness and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

  • When outdoors, 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.

  • Eliminate all 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 mosquitoes.

For additional information about West Nile virus, call the West Nile Virus Hotline, 866-369-9710, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit

[Illinois Department of Public Health news release]

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