ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed the first human West Nile virus-related death in Illinois for 2017.
According to IDPH, a Kankakee County resident who tested positive for the virus died in early September.
IDPH reported the first human case of West Nile virus in Illinois in 2017 on July 20 and is currently reporting 37 human cases. In 2016, there were 155 human cases, including six deaths.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito.
Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, the department of health said severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.
People older than 50 and immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk for severe illness.
IDPH offers the following precautions:
- Minimize being outdoors when mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus are most active, especially between dusk and dawn
- When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a doctor before using repellents on infants
- Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, such as old tires, buckets and other receptacles, or refresh the water in bird baths, flowerpots and wading pools every couple days.
You can click here for more information from the IDPH website.