|September 6, 2002||West Nile
Virus Web site
WEST NILE VIRUS HUMAN CASES CLIMB TO 224
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported seven new suburban Cook County human cases of laboratory positive West Nile disease, bringing the state's total this year to 224.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, once again reminded people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
The cases reported today are all from suburban Cook County:
An 84-year-old woman from southern Cook County, who was hospitalized with West Nile infection; an 18-year-old woman from southern Cook County, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis; a 66-year-old woman from southern Cook County, who was hospitalized with West Nile infection; an 85-year-old woman from southern Cook County, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis; a 90-year-old man from northern Cook County with West Nile encephalitis, whose hospital information is not known; an 83-year-old woman from southern Cook County, who was hospitalized with West Nile infection; and a 39-year-old woman from northern Cook County, who was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis.
Human cases have been identified in Chicago and 21 Illinois counties: Chicago (49), Clinton County (1), suburban Cook County (127), Crawford County (1), DeKalb County (1), DuPage County (9), Effingham County (3), Ford County (1), Jackson County (2), Kane County (1), Lake County (1), LaSalle County (3), Macoupin County (1), Madison County (4), Montgomery County (1), Moultrie County (1), Sangamon County (1), Shelby County (1), Stark County (1), Stephenson County (1), St. Clair County (6) and Will County (8). The average age of the Illinois cases is 55.7.
The state has reported nine fatalities due to West Nile virus illness a 67-year-old man from DuPage County; a 67-year-old woman, an 83-year-old woman, an 89-year-old woman and a 92-year-old woman from suburban Cook County; an 83-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman from Chicago; a 71-year-old man from Effingham County; and a 79-year-old woman from Moultrie 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.
A total of 479 birds, 451 mosquito batches and 140 horses in 95 Illinois counties have tested positive this year for the virus since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began on May 1. Hamilton, Mason and Monroe counties were added to the list of counties today with the confirmation by the Illinois Department of Agriculture laboratory that horses from those areas had 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 will remain 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. 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
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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