|August 25, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
ROCK ISLAND WEST NILE HUMAN CASE ANNOUNCED
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced a Rock Island County woman has been identified as the 10th person in Illinois this year to be diagnosed with West Nile disease.
Dr. Whitaker said the 42-year-old woman has been diagnosed with West Nile encephalitis and is hospitalized. She first reported illness in mid-August.
The state's other human cases of West Nile have been from Boone, Clinton, Ford, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Kendall, Sangamon and St. Clair (2) counties.
In addition, Dr. Whitaker said dead birds collected recently in Cass and Fayette counties have been identified with West Nile virus, marking the 50th and 51st counties to report West Nile activity since surveillance for the mosquito-borne disease began May 1.
A dead crow collected Monday in Virginia in Cass County and a blue jay found Aug. 18 in Vandalia in Fayette County are the latest West Nile positive birds. A total of 175 birds, 617 mosquito pools, two horses and one alpaca have been identified this year with 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. 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, such as encephalitis and meningitis, 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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