|August 21, 2003||West Nile
Virus Web site
SECOND ILLINOIS HUMAN CASE OF
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced a 16-year-old from Macoupin County is the state's second human case this year of West Nile disease.
Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, said the boy became ill Aug. 4 with a headache, fever, stiff neck and muscle aches, but did not require hospital treatment and has recovered. Besides possible exposure to infected mosquitoes in Macoupin County, the boy had recently returned from a trip to Mexico before becoming ill.
Laboratory tests performed by the Illinois Department of Public Health were positive for the mosquito-borne disease and the boy has been diagnosed with West Nile fever, a less severe form of West Nile disease.
The state's first case announced Tuesday was a 69-year-old man from Champaign County who has West Nile encephalitis. He is currently hospitalized.
In 2002, Illinois led the nation in West Nile disease cases with 884 and 66 deaths, including nine cases (no deaths) in Macoupin County. This year, three mosquitoes pools in Macoupin County have tested positive for West Nile virus.
Dr. Whitaker again urged people throughout Illinois to take some common sense steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne disease:
A total of 45 birds, 72 mosquito pools and two horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in 31 Illinois counties in 2003 since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.
West Nile virus activity has been detected in at least 42 states this year and human cases have been reported in 30 states, including Illinois.
Dr. Whitaker said while there is reason for concern few people will develop serious illness, even if bitten by an infected mosquito.
WNV is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but more add 2 some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
Dr. Whitaker said infections can be mild and include fever, headache and body aches, or can be 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.
Last year, more than 4,100 cases of West Nile disease and more than 280 deaths were recorded in the United States. The mosquito-borne disease was first confirmed in birds in Illinois in September 2001 and the state's first ever human case was reported in August 2002.
The Culex or house mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus or the St. Louis encephalitis virus, breeds in warm, stagnant water and increases in numbers early in the summer.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department's Web site http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or by calling the Department's West Nile virus hotline at 1-866-369-9710.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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