|August 6, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
KENDALL COUNTY MAN STATE'S FOURTH WEST NILE CASE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. A 70-year-old Kendall County man has been identified as the fourth West Nile disease human case in Illinois this year, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced.
Dr. Whitaker said the man was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis and is now recovering at home. A spinal fluid sample tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease by the Department's Chicago laboratory.
"This case is yet another reminder that West Nile virus is in the state and that Illinoisans should not be complacent," Dr. Whitaker said. "People need to be aware that the risk for West Nile virus infection is greatest from August 1 through September 15."
The state's other cases this year have been a 67-year-old man from Jo Daviess County with West Nile encephalitis, a 39-year-old Jackson County man with West Nile fever and a 14-year-old boy from St. Clair County with West Nile encephalitis.
In 2003, Illinois recorded 54 West Nile human cases, including one death, and in 2002, the state led the nation with 884 human cases and 66 deaths.
Dr. Whitaker continues to urge people 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 include fever, headache and body aches, serious illness and death are possible, particularly for persons over the age of 50 or persons that are immunosuppressed.
A total of 119 birds, 245 mosquito pools and two horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in 43 Illinois counties since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1.
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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