September 14, 2006
West Nile virus claims another life
Fulton , Jasper and Moultrie - newest counties with positive bird or mosquito sample
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public (IDPH) has received a report of another death from West Nile. A Chicago woman in her 80’s has died from neuroinvasive disease.
Five 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, a DuPage County woman in her 80’s and a Sangamon county man in his 90’s.
A total of 135 human cases of West Nile virus, including the latest death of Chicago woman in her 80’s, have been reported to IDPH this year. New cases include:
“The West Nile season is not done and mosquitoes are not gone. Although we’re approaching the end of summer, I still urge everyone to take precaution and protect yourselves from mosquitoes,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “A little bit of prevention can go a long way to avoiding the possible effects of mosquito bites.”
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.
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.
Fulton, Jasper and Moultrie Counties are the newest counties reporting positive West Nile bird or mosquito samples. On September 6, a positive mosquito sample was collected in Canton, by the Fulton County Health Department, and in Newton by Jasper County Health Department. Also on September 6, the Moultrie County Health Department reported a positive Blue Jay was collected, in Sullivan.
To date, 68 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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