|August 23, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
16 NEW HUMAN CASES OF WEST NILE REPORTED
SPRINGFIELD, IL Sixteen new laboratory positive human cases of West Nile virus illness, including the death of a 67-year-old woman from suburban Cook County, were reported today by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This brings to 42 the number of human cases in the state this year.
Among todays cases are 12 from suburban Cook County and one each from Chicago and Ford, Shelby and St. Clair counties:
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said most people who get infected with West Nile virus have either no symptoms or mild symptoms, but a few individuals may have a more severe form of the disease, such as encephalitis or meningitis. He urged people throughout Illinois to take some simple steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites:
A total of 426 birds, 236 mosquito batches and 23 horses in 89 Illinois counties including Grundy County where a positive bird was reported for the first time today have tested positive this year for West Nile virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.
The states other human cases were from Chicago (5), suburban Cook County (11), DuPage County (3), Jackson (1), Madison County (1), Montgomery (1), Sangamon County (1) and Will County (3). The only other death from West Nile virus illness was a 67-year-old man from DuPage County.
A complete listing of the positive birds, mosquito batches, horses and humans identified so far in Illinois, by county, is available on the Departments Web site at <www.idph.state.il.us>. Go to the West Nile virus page and select 2002" under surveillance.
The Culex or house mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis virus, breeds in warm, stagnant water and begins to increase in numbers early in the summer. Hot, humid weather conditions in recent weeks have been ideal for breeding the Culex mosquito and, as a result, there has been a jump in the number of positive birds, horses and mosquitoes.
Hospitals and infectious disease physicians have been notified of the increase in detection of birds, mosquitoes and horses with West Nile virus and reminded to order tests for arbovirus infections for patients with appropriate symptoms.
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. West Nile virus illness in Illinois has been reported in people ranging in age from 2 to 85, but serious illness is most often present in individuals 50 years of age or older.
2002 West Nile virus surveillance information can be found on the Department's Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance_data_02.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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