September 21, 2006
West Nile virus claims another life in Illinois
Piatt County - newest county with positive bird sample
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received a report of another death from West Nile. A Cook County woman in her 80's, who was previously reported as having Neuroinvasive disease, has died.
Eight other people in Illinois have died this year from West Nile virus.
Eleven new cases of West Nile virus have been reported to IDPH bringing the total this year to 161.
“Despite cooler temperatures, the West Nile season is not over. Mosquitoes are still about and everyone should protect themselves from being bitten,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.
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.
Piatt is the newest county reporting positive West Nile bird sample. The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department reported a positive Blue Jay collected on September 13, in LaPlace.To date, 70 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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