September 12, 2006
West Nile virus claims two more lives in Illinois
Douglas County newest county reporting positive West Nile virus bird sample
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public (IDPH) has received reports of two deaths from West Nile. A DuPage County woman in her 80’s died due to neuroinvasive disease and a Sangamon county man in his 90’s, previously reported to have West Nile, has died.
Three other people also have died this year from West Nile virus, a man in his 60’s from Will County, a man in his 80’s from Bond County and a woman in her 90’s from Cook County.
Nineteen new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to IDPH bringing the total this year to 114. (The DuPage County death is also a new report.) Other new cases include:
“Despite the cooler temperatures, we’re still seeing an increase of West Nile virus cases. It’s not uncommon, since we usually see a peak during late summer. Make sure you protect yourselves and encourage your loved ones to take precaution against mosquito bites,’ 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.
The Douglas County Health Department reported a positive crow was collected on September 6 in Tuscola.
To date, 65 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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