Human Case of West Nile Reported


Published on July 24 2012 3:16 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus in the state for 2012.

The Cook County Health Department reported a female in her 60s became ill earlier this month.

IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said the state is seeing a large increase in West Nile virus activity and said this first human case is a good reminder that we all need to take precautions.  Hasbrouck said the mosquitoes that typically carry West Nile virus are not as noticeable as the swarms of floodwater mosquitoes seen during rainy summers.  He said house mosquitoes are stealthy biters and their virus infection rate is increasing rapidly, so encourages Illinois residents to use insect repellent.

To date, West Nile virus positive birds, mosquitoes and the one human case have been reported in 27 counties.

Typically the first human case of West Nile virus is announced in August each year.

Last year, a total of 19 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case.  A total of 34 Illinois residents contracted West Nile virus disease, and three died.

Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.  Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.  Four out of five infected will not show any symptoms.  People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

Precautions should include reducing mosquito breeding areas around your home and taking steps to avoid mosquito bites include use of repellents when outside.