|August 27, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
FOUR CHICAGO-AREA WEST NILE HUMAN CASES REPORTED
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The number of human cases of West Nile disease in Illinois this year has risen to 14 with the announcement today by the Illinois Department of Public Health of the first four reported cases of the mosquito-borne disease from the Chicago metropolitan area.
Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, said the most recent laboratory-confirmed cases are:
The state’s other human cases of West Nile have been from Boone, Clinton, Ford, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Kendall, Rock Island, Sangamon and St. Clair (2) counties.
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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