|August 17, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
SANGAMON COUNTY WOMAN POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced a 53-year-old Sangamon County woman has been identified as the seventh person in Illinois to be diagnosed this year with West Nile disease.
Dr. Whitaker said the woman became ill in early August and is hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis.
The other human cases of West Nile disease identified so far this year are: 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, a 70-year-old man from Kendall County, a 47-year-old Ford County man and a 59-year-old man from Boone County.
In addition to the human cases, a total of 142 birds, 474 mosquito pools, two horses and one alpaca from 47 counties have tested positive for West Nile virus since surveillance for the mosquito-borne disease began May 1.
Dr. Whitaker urged people to continue to take simple, common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from West Nile disease. These 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 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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