|August 8, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
SECOND HUMAN WEST NILE DISEASE CASE REPORTED
CHICAGO, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the second human case of West Nile virus illness in Illinois has been identified in a 57-year-old Madison County resident.
At a Chicago news conference, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said the man has a probable diagnosis of West Nile encephalitis and is hospitalized. He first reported illness in mid-July and was admitted to the hospital intensive care unit about a week later with fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion and agitation. He has now been moved out of intensive care, where he spent nearly two weeks, and is showing signs of improvement.
Laboratory tests performed by the Department have been positive for West Nile virus and confirmatory tests are pending at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"As I have noted previously, reports of human cases in our state are certainly not unexpected, " Dr. Lumpkin said. "Surveillance by state and local health departments that has been underway since May has detected West Nile virus activity in birds, mosquitoes and horses throughout the state."
While there is reason for concern, Dr. Lumpkin reiterated that, even if bitten by an infected mosquito, few people will develop serious illness.
"Only about one in five of those infected will have any clinical signs of the illness at all and only one in 150 infected people will develop the more serious complications," he said.
Dr. Lumpkin again urged individuals to take common sense measures to help protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne disease:
A total of 218 birds, 105 mosquito batches and three horses in 53 Illinois counties, including five reported for the first time today Iroquois, Jersey, Logan, Macon and Richland have tested positive this year for West Nile virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1. On Tuesday, the state's first human case of West Nile disease was announced. A 22-year-old temporary resident of Cook County tested positive for West Nile fever after reporting minor symptoms fever, achy muscles and a slight rash. She was not hospitalized and has recovered.
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. Recent warm temperatures have been ideal for the rapid development and activity of the Culex mosquito and, as a result, there has been a jump in the number of positive birds and mosquitoes.
Hospitals and infectious disease physicians have been notified of the increase in detection of birds with West Nile virus and reminded to order tests for arbovirus infections for patients with appropriate symptoms.
In 2002, West Nile virus activity has been detected in at least 34 states, including Illinois, and Washington, D.C., in the United States and three in Canadian provinces. In addition to Illinois, human cases of West Nile encephalitis have been confirmed this year in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
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. While everyone is at risk of West Nile disease, those at highest risk are persons 50 years of age or older.
West Nile virus was first confirmed in Illinois in September 2001 when two dead crows from the Chicago metropolitan area tested positive for the virus.
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
Questions or Comments