ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus in Illinois in 2017.
According to the department, a Will County man in his 60s got sick at the end of June.
"This is typically the time of year we start to see human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois," said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. "Although the flooding in northeastern Illinois may be producing a large number of floodwater mosquitoes, those mosquitoes do not carry West Nile virus. However, the hot, dry conditions we've been seeing around the rest of Illinois, which leave small, stagnant pockets of standing water, create ideal breeding sites for the type of mosquito that does carry West Nile virus."
In 2016, IDPH reported 155 human cases. That number includes six deaths.
The IDPH recommends practicing the three 'R's':
- REDUCE - make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.
- REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.