October 10, 2006
3 new cases of West Nile in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of three new cases of West Nile virus. This year’s total is 192 human cases in Illinois and nine deaths. The latest reported cases are:
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.
“As temperatures cool down we are seeing fewer new, human cases of West Nile virus. This does not mean, however, that the threat of West Nile virus is gone. Until we see a good freeze, mosquitoes will still be out and you need to protect yourself from being bitten,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.
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.
To date, 75 counties out of 102 have reported positive test results for West Nile virus in humans, mosquitoes, birds and horses. A list of those counties can be found on the IDPH website.
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 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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