|September 7, 2004||2004 West Nile Virus Web site|
THIRD ST. CLAIR COUNTY WEST NILE CASE REPORTED
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today announced that an 89-year-old woman has been identified as the third person from St. Clair County to be diagnosed this year with West Nile disease. Dr. Whitaker said the woman became ill in late-August and is hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis. The other two St. Clair County cases had onsets of illness in mid-July and late-July.
The state has now counted a total of 23 human cases of West Nile infection since surveillance for the mosquito-borne disease began May 1. Beside the three cases from St. Clair County, the other cases have been from the city of Chicago, and Boone, Clinton (2), suburban Cook (2), DuPage (2), Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Kendall, LaSalle, McLean, Rock Island, Sangamon,and Will (2) counties.
There has been one West Nile disease fatality reported – a 58-year-old man from DuPage County who died Sept. 1.
In addition to the human cases, a total of 181 birds, 802 mosquito pools, two horses and one alpaca have been identified this year with West Nile virus.
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.
Most mosquito-borne infections in Illinois occur in August and September, so Dr. Whitaker again reminded people to continue to take simple, common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from West Nile disease. These 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 .
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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