|October 18, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASE DEATH TOLL RISES TO 43
SPRINGFIELD, IL An 88-year-old suburban Cook County woman has been identified as Illinois' 43rd victim of West Nile encephalitis, the Illinois Department of Public Health today announced.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said the woman became ill Sept. 13, was hospitalized the following day and died Sept. 26. The state's other West Nile fatalities have been from Chicago (10), suburban Cook County (15), DuPage County (2), Fulton County (2), Sangamon County (3) and one each in Effingham, Jackson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, Macon, Madison, Moultrie and White counties.
With the addition of the most recent death, the total number of West Nile disease cases in the state now stands at 691. So far this year, there have been human cases of the mosquito-borne 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 949 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 recently have been at or near freezing in many parts of the state, Dr. Lumpkin reminded Illinoisans it is still important to take steps to reduce the chance of mosquito bites until their area experiences a sustained freeze (27 degrees F or less for several hours) . Until there is a "killing" freeze, some mosquitoes will be present and may bite during warm, fall daylight if the dense vegetation where they hide is disturbed.
People can prevent mosquito bites by staying indoors 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 feeding habits of the Culex or house mosquito, the primary carrier of West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis virus, change in the fall from blood meals, which are used for reproduction, to sugar meals from plants that help sustain them over winter. Other species of mosquitoes, however, may be present and bite until a hard freeze kills them.
During the fall, adult female Culex mosquitoes seek locations, such as sewers, culverts, crawl spaces and caves, where they are protected from extreme cold and can survive the 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
Questions or Comments