Jackson County man diagnosed with West Nile virus

Jackson County man diagnosed with West Nile virus

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - A 74-year-old Jackson County man is recovering from West Nile virus.

The man was diagnosed and treated as an outpatient.

West Nile virus activity in Culex mosquitoes increases during hot weather in July and August.

Even though the weather has begun to cool, people should continue to take precautions against mosquitoes until the first hard frost of the year, which will kill most remaining mosquitoes, according to the Jackson County Health Department. This may not occur until late October.

The Jackson County Health Department offers these tips to reduce the risk of West Nile illness and other mosquito-borne diseases:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
  • When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Only about two persons out of every ten who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness.

Illness from West Nile disease normally occurs three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito and is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches.

However, serious illness such as encephalitis and meningitis, with lingering complications and even death, are possible.

People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

Sixty-one counties in Illinois have reported humans, mosquitoes, horses or birds testing positive for West Nile virus in 2013. Fourteen human cases have been reported in Illinois this year, with two deaths.

More information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health's Website or call the West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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