October 19, 2006
7 new cases of West Nile in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of seven new cases of West Nile virus which brings the total West Nile disease cases to 202.
The latest reported cases are:
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.
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.
“Temperatures are dropping, but until we see consistent freezing temps mosquitoes can survive,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “We usually have to see some consistent cold temperatures before the threat of outdoor mosquitoes is ruled out. Be cautious of indoor mosquitoes that are able to survive in warm insulated areas.”
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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