|August 29, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
NINETEEN NEW CASES OF WEST NILE; STATE TOTAL AT 98
SPRINGFIELD, IL The total number of West Nile virus illness cases in Illinois climbed to 98 with the announcement today of 19 new laboratory positive cases by Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director.
Dr. Lumpkin also reported a fifth person from Illinois has died from West Nile encephalitis an 83-year-old woman from northern Cook County, who was reported positive for West Nile virus on Aug. 23. The woman, who was hospitalized about two weeks ago, died Aug. 28.
With the beginning of fall sports, which are often held in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active, Dr. Lumpkin has recommended that school districts throughout the state remind participants and spectators who attend football and soccer games, tennis and golf matches, cross country meets and other sporting events of simple, common-sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Dr. Lumpkin also told school districts that, if treatment for adult mosquitoes is done before sporting events, it must be conducted by an individual licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The new cases reported today include two from the city of Chicago, 10 from Cook County, three from DuPage County, one each from Jackson County and St. Clair County, and two from Will County:
Human cases have been identified in Chicago and 11 Illinois counties: Chicago (14), suburban Cook County (55), DuPage County (8), Ford County (1), Jackson County (2), LaSalle County (1), Madison County (3), Montgomery County (1), Sangamon County (2), Shelby County (1), St. Clair County (3) and Will County (7). The average age of the Illinois cases is 53.9. Previous to today's reported fatality, there have been four other 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.
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, not only those attending or participating in sporting events or other outdoor activities, to take similar steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites:
A total of 462 birds, 392 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.
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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