August 2, 2005
A THIRD HUMAN CASE OF WEST NILE CONFIRMED
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A 49 year-old man from Kane County is the third confirmed human case of West Nile this season, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director announced today. The man was not hospitalized.
Last week, a 55-year-old man from Kane County and a 55-year-old man from suburban Cook County were diagnosed with the virus.
West Nile virus 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 disease is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis and meningitis, and death are possible. Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
The latest counties to report positive bird samples are Sangamon and Stephenson. The City of Springfield Health Department collected a positive crow sample on July 22. Stephenson County Health Department collected a positive bird sample in Cedarville on August 1.
A total of 47 birds and 470 mosquito samples from 27 counties have tested positive since surveillance for the mosquito-borne disease began on May 1.
In 2004, Illinois recorded 60 human cases, of West Nile disease, including four deaths, and in 2003, there were 54 human cases, including one death. The state led the nation in 2002 with 884 human cases of West Nile disease and 67 deaths.
Dr. Whitaker said individuals can reduce their risk of West Nile illness and other mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions:
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 West Nile Virus Hotline at 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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