|November 6, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
ILLINOIS' WEST NILE DEATH TOLL RISES TO 47
SPRINGFIELD, IL The death toll in Illinois this year due to West Nile encephalitis climbed to 47 today with the announcement by the Illinois Department of Public Health that an elderly DuPage County man died in September with the mosquito-borne disease. In addition, the Department reported seven other laboratory positive cases of West Nile disease, bringing to 727 the number of cases so far this year.
Deaths linked to the West Nile virus now equal the total number of fatalities recorded in 1975 during the state's last major disease outbreak linked to the bite of infected mosquitoes. Twenty-seven years ago, Illinois had 578 cases and 47 deaths attributable to St. Louis encephalitis.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said the onset of colder weather most likely has ended the threat of West Nile disease for this year. The cases reported today, he said, are people who were infected earlier in the summer and fall and for whom laboratory tests were only recently completed.
Unlike most of the previously reported cases, which were identified by the Department's Chicago laboratory, blood and spinal fluid tests on these individuals were performed by private labs in other states. Once the private lab results are received, the Department verifies the results before the individual is counted as a confirmed case.
Dr. Lumpkin said the latest West Nile encephalitis death was an 81-year-old DuPage County man who was admitted to the hospital Aug. 23 and died Sept. 7.
The state's other fatalities have been have been from Chicago (11), suburban Cook County (17), DuPage County (2), Fulton County (3), Sangamon County (3) and one each from Effingham, Jackson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, Macon, Madison, Moultrie and White counties.
Today's new cases of West Nile disease include four from suburban Cook County, and one each from DuPage, Fulton, St. Clair and Vermilion counties. So far this year, human cases of West Nile disease have been reported in 48 of the state's 102 counties. Cases range in age from 3 months to 97 years; the average age is 56.
Cases announced today are a 47-year-old man from northern Cook County with West Nile fever; a 36-year-old woman from northern Cook County, whose hospital information is not known; a 78-year-old man from northern Cook County, who was hospitalized; a 30-year-old man from southern Cook County with West Nile fever, who was not hospitalized; the 81-year-old man from DuPage County, who died Sept. 7; a 47-year-old woman from Fulton County with West Nile encephalitis, who was not hospitalized; a 48-year-old man from St. Clair County with West Nile fever, who was not hospitalized; and a 38-year-old man from Vermilion County with West Nile fever, who was not hospitalized.
A total of 513 birds, 528 mosquito batches and 949 horses in 100 Illinois counties have tested positive this year 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.
The Department will update case totals for the next several weeks based on laboratory evidence still being received. These additional cases will be individuals who were infected in August, September or October.
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