|October 10, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
WEST NILE DISEASE DEATHS REACH 41
SPRINGFIELD, IL Three more Chicago-area deaths from West Nile encephalitis have brought the total number of fatalities this year from the mosquito-borne disease to 41, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, today announced. In addition, Dr. Lumpkin said the number of human cases of West Nile disease has reached 661 with the report of five new laboratory positive cases.
Dr. Lumpkin said the most recent deaths are a 79-year-old woman from Chicago, who became ill Sept. 3 and died Sept 30; a 78-year-old man from DuPage County, who was hospitalized Sept. 11 and died Sept. 26; and a 69-year-old man from Kendall County, who was hospitalized Sept. 28 and died Tuesday (Oct. 8).
The state's other West Nile disease fatalities this year have been from Chicago (8), suburban Cook County (15), Fulton County (2), Sangamon County (3) and one each from DuPage, Effingham, Jackson, Kane, Knox, Lake, Macon, Madison, Moultrie and White counties.
The five new cases of West Nile disease include two from suburban Cook County and one each from DuPage, Macon and St. Clair counties. So far this year, there have been human cases of West Nile disease in 45 of the state's 102 counties. Cases range in age from 3 months to 97 years; the average age is 57.
Cases announced today follow:
SUBURBAN (NORTHERN) COOK COUNTY: A 45-year-old woman, who was not hospitalized; and a 71-year-old woman, who was not hospitalized.
DUPAGE COUNTY: A 75-year-old man, whose was not hospitalized.
MACON COUNTY: A 51-year-old woman, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis.
ST. CLAIR COUNTY: A 37-year-old man with West Nile encephalitis, who was not hospitalized.
The three deaths were individuals who had previously been reported as West Nile disease cases. The Chicago woman was reported as a case Sept. 23, the DuPage County man was reported Oct. 1 and the Kendall County man was reported on Oct. 9.
A complete listing of the positive birds, mosquito batches, horses and humans identified so far in Illinois, by county, is available on the Department's Web site at <www.idph.state.il.us>. Go to the West Nile virus page and select "2002" under surveillance.
Although temperatures have been cooler recently, Dr. Lumpkin reminded Illinoisans it was still important to take the following steps to reduce the chance of mosquito bites until their area experiences a hard frost:
The Culex or house mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis virus, breeds in warm, stagnant water and remains active and biting until there is a hard frost. As the temperatures dip below 60 degrees at night and in early morning, the mosquitoes' feeding habits change from seeking blood meals, which they use for reproduction, to sugar meals from plants that help sustain them over winter.
Dr. Lumpkin said most people who get infected with West Nile virus have either no symptoms or mild symptoms, but a few individuals may develop a more severe form of the disease, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
Most people infected with West Nile virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Infections can be mild and include fever, headache and body aches, or severe and marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and, rarely, death. Serious West Nile virus illness is most often present in individuals 50 years of age or older.
A total of 513 birds, 528 mosquito batches and 595 horses in 98 Illinois counties have tested positive this year for the virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1.
EDITOR'S NOTE: West Nile disease case updates will be issued on Tuesdays and Thursdays unless a human case is reported in a county for the first time or there is a fatality.
2002 West Nile virus surveillance information can be found on the Department's Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance_data02.htm.
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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