|October 8, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
WEST NILE CASES REPORTED IN CHICAGO AND LASALLE COUNTY
SPRINGFIELD , Ill. – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced the latest human cases of West Nile infection are from the city of Chicago and LaSalle County, bringing to 53 the number of cases of the mosquito-borne disease this year in Illinois.
Dr. Whitaker identified the cases as:
Human cases of West Nile disease reported this year have been from the city of Chicago (5), and Adams, Bond, Boone, Clinton (2), suburban Cook (13), DuPage (5), Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Kane (2), Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle (5), McLean, Rock Island, Sangamon (3), St. Clair (3), Wabash and Will (2) counties.
There have been two deaths associated with West Nile disease this year – a 61-year-old woman from suburban Cook County who died Sept. 23 and a 58-year-old man from DuPage County who died Sept. 1.
In 2003, Illinois recorded 54 West Nile disease human cases, including one death, and in 2002, the state led the nation with 884 cases and 66 deaths.
In addition to the human cases, a total of 227 birds, 1,114 mosquito pools, 11 horses and one alpaca have been identified this year with West Nile virus.
Even though temperatures have cooled recently and mosquitoes have been less active, Dr. Whitaker reminded people to continue to take simple, common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from West Nile disease. Mosquitoes will remain a threat to transmit the disease until a hard frost kills the mosquitoes. The precautions include:
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 some may become ill three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
Only about two persons out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department's Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or people can call (217-782-5830) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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