|August 28, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
WEST NILE VIRUS HUMAN CASES IN ILLINOIS RISE TO 79
SPRINGFIELD, IL The number of human cases of West Nile virus illness in Illinois grew to 79 today with the addition of eight new laboratory positive cases, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, has announced.
The new cases include four from Cook County and one each from the city of Chicago and DuPage, LaSalle and St. Clair 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 have tested positive this year for the virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1.
Human cases have been identified in Chicago and 11 Illinois counties: Chicago (13), suburban Cook County (44), DuPage County (5), Ford County (1), Jackson County (1), LaSalle County (1), Madison County (3), Montgomery County (1), Sangamon County (2), Shelby County (1), St. Clair County (2) and Will County (5). The average age of the Illinois cases is 53.6. There have been a total of four deaths due to West Nile virus illness in the state a 67-year-old man from DuPage County, a 67-year-old woman from suburban Cook County, an 83-year-old man from Chicago and a 92-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
Questions or Comments