|August 26, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
WEST NILE VIRUS HUMAN CASES INCREASE TO 61
SPRINGFIELD, IL The number of human cases of West Nile virus illness in Illinois grew to 61 with the addition today of 19 new laboratory positive cases, according to Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director.
Among today's cases are 10 from suburban Cook County, four from Chicago, two from Will County and one each from DuPage, Madison and Sangamon counties:
Dr. Lumpkin, said most people who get infected with West Nile virus have either no symptoms or mild symptoms, but a few individuals may develop 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 439 birds, 236 mosquito batches and 62 horses in 92 Illinois counties including Marshall, Randolph and White counties where West Nile virus in birds and/or horses was reported for the first time today have tested positive this year for the virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.
Human cases have been identified in Chicago and 10 Illinois counties: Chicago (10), suburban Cook County (33), DuPage County (4), Ford County (1), Jackson (1), Madison County (2), Montgomery County (1), Sangamon County (2), Shelby County (1), St. Clair County (1) and Will County (5). Two of the cases have resulted in death a 67-year-old man from DuPage County and a 67-year-old woman from suburban Cook County.
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 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 89, 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_data02.htm.
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