ILLINOIS (KMOV.com) – The first confirmed human case of the West Nile virus in Illinois for 2019 has been discovered.
A Chicago resident in his 70s reportedly became ill in late July.
“Although the first human case of West Nile virus this year in Illinois has been reported a little later than we typically see, it is important to remember that there is an ongoing risk of disease from a mosquito bite,” said IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it’s important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home.”
According to the IDPH, 74 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito last year. There were also 176 human cases of the disease, including 17 deaths, in 2018.
Common symptoms of the West Nile virus include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, which could last from a few days to a few weeks. Officials report that four out of five people infected with the virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, the virus could result in severe illness, including meningitis, or even death.
People over 60 and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
Click here for more information about the West Nile virus.