September 7, 2006
WEST NILE VIRUS CLAIMS THIRD PERSON IN ILLINOIS
Human West Nile virus cases in Illinois reach 94
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Cook County Department of Public Health reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) the death of a Cook County woman in her 90’s due to West Nile virus disease.
Two other people also have died 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.
Twenty eight new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to IDPH bringing the total this year to 94. New cases include:
“During the late summer we see the number of West Nile virus cases increase dramatically. Everyone needs to take special care to prevent 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.
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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