|August 27, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
| EDITOR'S NOTE: The Aug. 26 news release regarding West
Nile virus illnesses in Illinois WEST NILE VIRUS HUMAN CASES INCREASE TO
61 incorrectly included a 40-year-old woman from Chicago who had been
reported previously (Aug. 23). Therefore, the total caseload as of Aug. 26
should have been 60; with today's 11 new cases, the total is now
TWO DEATHS DUE TO WEST NILE VIRUS; ILLINOIS CASES AT 71
SPRINGFIELD, IL Two Chicago-area deaths are among 11 new laboratory positive cases of West Nile virus illness announced today by the Illinois Department of Public Health. There have been a total of 71 human cases, including four deaths, of West Nile virus illness reported in Illinois this year.
The most recent fatalities were an 83-year-old man from Chicago, who died Aug. 21, and a 92-year-old woman from northern Cook County, who died Aug. 24. Both had West Nile encephalitis and the 83-year-old had other medical conditions that may have contributed to his death.
The non-fatal cases include seven from suburban Cook County, one from Chicago and one from Madison County:
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 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 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 (12), suburban Cook County (40), DuPage County (4), Ford County (1), Jackson (1), Madison County (3), Montgomery County (1), Sangamon County (2), Shelby County (1), St. Clair County (1) and Will County (5). The average age of the Illinois cases is 52.5. There have now been a total of four deaths due to West Nile virus illness. Prior to today, the two previous fatalities were 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 92, 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.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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