First West Nile virus death in Illinois reported for 2021
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - The first death from West Nile virus this year has been reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The individual became sick in late August and was a Will County resident.
“Although we are already into fall, we are expecting a warm weekend and West Nile virus remains a risk until the first hard frost,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions such as using insect repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.”
There are 40 cases of West Nile virus currently in Illinois.
West Nile virus is caught by mosquito bites, and several common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.
People who are over 50 or immunocompromised are at higher risk for severe illness, which can include meningitis, encephalitis, or death.
The Illinois Department of Public Health encourages everyone to practice the three “R’s”.
- Reduce standing water and repair or replace screens with tears or other openings
- Repel mosquitos with shoes, socks, long pants and sleeves
- Report spots where water has become stagnant in ditches, flooded yards and other locations so health departments can kill mosquito larvae
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