West Nile virus appears early in Illinois, sends 2 to hospital

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by Associated Press

AP

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 12:35 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois health officials say the hot, dry weather is to blame for more mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus this year and two earlier-than-usual human cases of the illness.

Amy Poore of the Cook County Health Department said Tuesday a Des Plaines woman and a Rolling Meadows woman are being treated at hospitals for the virus. Both patients are in their 60s.

Usually, the first human case of the virus is announced in August.

Hot, dry weather means more stagnant water where mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus can breed. Rainstorms wash away mosquito larvae along with the stagnant water.

Health officials suggest wearing insect repellent or staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn.

West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.

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