|October 23, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
FIRST WEST NILE CASE IN HANCOCK COUNTY
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported that a 44-year-old man has been identified as the first laboratory positive human case of West Nile disease in Hancock County. He was diagnosed with West Nile fever, a milder form of the mosquito-borne illness, and did not require hospitalization.
With the addition of Hancock County, so far this year there have been human cases of West Nile disease in 48 of the state's 102 counties. The total number of cases stands at 706, including 43 deaths; both figures are the highest in the country. Cases range in age from 3 months to 97 years; the average age is 57.
The Illinoisans who died all with West Nile encephalitis have been from Chicago (10), suburban Cook County (16), 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. 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 to continue 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 hours 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 and 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
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