|August 9, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
FORD COUNTY MAN DIAGNOSED WITH WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced that a 47-year-old Ford County man has been diagnosed with West Nile disease and a crow found in Schuyler County has tested positive for West Nile virus.
There have now been five human cases of West Nile disease identified this year, including a 67-year-old man from Jo Daviess County, a 39-year-old Jackson County man, a 14-year-old boy from St. Clair County and a 70-year-old man from Kendall County.
Dr. Whitaker said the Ford County man became ill in late July, but did not require hospitalization and is recovering at home.
The dead crow collected in Rushville in Schuyler County on Aug. 5 was the first West Nile positive from that county since state and local health departments began surveillance for the mosquito-borne disease on May 1 and brings to 45 the number of counties that have reported West Nile activity. A total of 122 birds, 359 mosquito pools and two horses in Illinois have tested positive for West Nile virus.
Dr. Whitaker urged people to continue to take simple, common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from West Nile disease. The suggested 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. Although illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, serious illness and death are possible. Persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
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.
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 the Department's West Nile virus hotline (866-369-9710) 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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