"Despite cooler temperatures, we're still seeing people diagnosed
with West Nile virus," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, IDPH director. "You
need to continue to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and
getting rid of any standing water around your home."
IDPH is reporting 94 human cases, including three deaths. The first
human case of West Nile virus was reported on July 24. In 2011,
there were 34 human cases, including three deaths, for the entire
So far this year, 48 counties have reported mosquito batches,
birds, horses or people testing positive for West Nile virus. The
first West Nile virus-positive bird, a crow, was collected on May 16
in Chicago, and the first positive mosquito samples were collected
on May 17 in Cook and DuPage counties.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito
that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common
West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle
aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However,
four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show
any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness, including meningitis or
encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People 50 and older are at
higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
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The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other
mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around
your home and take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Precautions include practicing the three R's -- reduce, repel and
exposure -- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most
active, especially between dusk and dawn.
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 where mosquitoes can breed, including
water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires
and any other receptacles.
REPEL -- When
outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved
shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin,
oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label
instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on
REPORT -- In
communities where there are organized mosquito control programs,
contact your municipal government to report dead birds and areas
of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar
locations that may produce mosquitoes.
Additional information about West Nile virus is available at
www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm. Surveillance numbers are
updated every day at noon at
Department of Public Health file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]