August 31, 2006
Ten new human cases of West Nile virus reported
Hamilton County – newest county reporting positive West Nile virus mosquito sample
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Ten new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) bringing the total this year to 49. New cases include:
Two people have died so far this year from West Nile virus, a man in his 60’s from Will County and a man in his 80’s from Bond County.
“People across the state, especially older persons, need to make sure to protect themselves against mosquito bites. This is the riskiest time of year for West Nile virus. Mosquitoes that carry the virus peak around late summer and IDPH is seeing more and more human cases of West Nile virus every day,” 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.
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.
Hamilton County is the newest county reporting a positive West Nile virus mosquito sample collected on August 28 in Mc Leansburo.
To date, 62 counties out of 102 have reported positive test results for West Nile virus in 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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