September 5, 2006
Seventeen new human cases of West Nile virus reported
Clark and Crawford Counties – newest counties reporting positive West Nile virus mosquito sample
SPRINGFIELD, Ill – Seventeen new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) bringing the total this year to 66. 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.
“Although it is after Labor Day and many summer activities, like swimming, are winding down, late summer is the peak for the house mosquito and this is the riskiest time of the year for West Nile virus,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “Don’t let your guard down because of the recent cool temperatures. Make sure to take precautions against mosquito bites when you go outside.”
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.
Clark and Crawford counties are the newest counties reporting positive West Nile virus mosquito samples. On August 29, West Nile virus positive mosquito samples were reported from Dennison, Casey and Marshall. In Crawford County, West Nile virus positive mosquito samples were collected on August 29 in Annapolis and Robinson.
To date, 64 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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