|September 20, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
FIVE COUNTIES RECORD FIRST WEST NILE CASES
SPRINGFIELD, IL Five downstate counties have recorded their first human cases of West Nile disease, including the death of a Fulton County man, as the mosquito-borne disease continues to spread in the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health today announced. West Nile cases have now been identified in Chicago and 38 of the state's 102 counties.
"Since May, the Department has been tracking West Nile positive birds, mosquitoes and horses and has confirmed positive animals or insects in all but four counties," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "Based on that surveillance, it is not surprising that human cases of West Nile have been reported in many areas of the state. I would anticipate the list of counties with human cases will grow until the mosquito season ends this fall with a hard frost."
The Department today reported 16 new laboratory positive cases of West Nile disease, including the first human cases in Coles, Fulton, Knox, Tazewell and Whiteside counties.
In addition to the death of a 77-year-old man from Fulton County, who was hospitalized Sept. 10 and died Friday with West Nile encephalitis, Dr. Lumpkin announced that a 70-year-old man from southern Cook County, who was reported as a case Aug. 15, died Wednesday with West Nile encephalitis.
The other cases reported today include two from the city of Chicago, eight from suburban Cook County and one from Will County. In Illinois this year, there have been a total of 473 human cases of West Nile illness and 25 deaths. Besides the two fatalities announced today, the state's other deaths have been from Chicago (5), suburban Cook County (12) and one each from DuPage, Effingham, Macon, Madison, Moultrie and Sangamon counties.
Cases announced today follow:
CHICAGO: A 69-year-old woman with West Nile encephalitis, who was not hospitalized; and a 50-year-old woman, whose hospital information is not known.
COLES COUNTY: A 72-year-old woman, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis.
SUBURBAN (NORTHERN) COOK COUNTY: A 48-year-old man, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis; a 59-year-old man, whose hospital information is not known; and a 78-year-old woman with West Nile encephalitis, whose hospital information is not known.
SUBURBAN (SOUTHERN) COOK COUNTY: A 53-year-old woman, whose hospital information is not known; a 49-year-old woman with West Nile encephalitis, whose hospital information is not known; a 27-year-old woman with West Nile fever, whose hospital information is not known; a 63-year-old woman, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis; and a 77-year-old woman, whose hospital information is not known.
FULTON COUNTY: A 77-year-old man, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis and died Sept. 13.
KNOX COUNTY: An 88-year-old man, whose hospital information is not known.
TAZEWELL COUNTY: A 22-year-old woman, whose hospital information is not known.
WHITESIDE COUNTY: A 15-year-old boy, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis.
WILL COUNTY: A 5-year-old boy, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis.
Human cases range in age from 3 months to 97 years and the average age is 56. Cases have been reported in Chicago (122), Clark County (1), Clinton County (2), Coles County (1), suburban Cook County (241), Crawford County (2), Cumberland County (2), DeKalb County (1), DuPage County (24), Edgar County (1), Effingham County (4), Ford County (1), Fulton County (1), Henderson County (1), Jackson County (5), Jasper County (1), Kane County (2), Kankakee County (1), Knox County (1), Lake County (1), LaSalle County (7), Macon County (1), Macoupin County (1), Madison County (7), McHenry County (1), McLean County (1), Montgomery County (3), Moultrie County (1), Rock Island County (1), Sangamon County (5), Shelby County (2), Stark County (1), Stephenson County (1), St. Clair County (7), Tazewell County (1), Vermilion County (1), Whiteside County (1), Will County (15) and Winnebago County (1).
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 continued to urge Illinoisans to take the following steps to reduce the chance of mosquito bites until their area experiences a hard frost:
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.
A total of 508 birds, 528 mosquito batches and 249 horses in 98 Illinois counties have tested positive this year for the virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1. Putnam County was added to the list today with the confirmation by the Illinois Department of Agriculture Laboratory that a blue jay collected Sept. 13 in Granville has tested positive for West Nile virus.
The Culex or house mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis virus, breeds in warm, stagnant water and remains active and biting until there is a hard frost.
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. Serious West Nile virus 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
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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