Press Release

October 12, 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 195 human cases in Illinois and nine deaths. The latest reported cases are:

  • Chicago man in his 40’s with West Nile Fever
  • Chicago woman in her 50’s with West Nile Fever
  • Ford County man in his 50’s with Neuroinvasive Disease

Only about two out of 10 people infected by a mosquito bite will show symptoms. 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.

“Even with the freezing temperatures we have seen, mosquitoes can still survive if they are able to find insulation in areas like basements, caves, sewers and even in vegetation,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “Typically it takes more than one freeze, depending on how low the temperature drops, before we can rule out the threat of West Nile virus from mosquitoes outdoors.”

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:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
  • When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaroon or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Department’s Web site at 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.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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