|October 16, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
42nd WEST NILE DISEASE FATALITY ANNOUNCED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The death of an elderly Chicago man earlier this week with West Nile encephalitis brings to 42 the number of fatalities in Illinois this year from the mosquito-borne disease, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, today announced.
Dr. Lumpkin said the 88-year-old man became ill Sept. 10, was hospitalized Sept. 13 and died Sunday (Oct. 13). The Department previously reported the man as a West Nile disease case Sept. 24.
The state's other West Nile disease fatalities have been from Chicago (9), suburban Cook County (15), DuPage County (2), Fulton County (2), Sangamon County (3) and one each from Effingham, Jackson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, Macon, Madison, Moultrie and White counties.
So far this year, there have been 675 human cases of West Nile disease in 46 of the state's 102 counties. Cases range in age from 3 months to 97 years; the average age is 57. A total of 513 birds, 528 mosquito batches and 904 horses in 100 Illinois counties have tested positive this year for the virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1.
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 steps to reduce the chance of mosquito bites until their area experiences a hard frost (27 degrees F or less) . These include staying indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active; using insect repellent when outdoors when mosquitoes are biting; checking for and repairing any holes in screens; and eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes might breed.
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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: West Nile disease case updates will be issued on Tuesdays and Thursdays unless there is a fatality or a human case is reported in a county for the first time.
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
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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