A woman in her 40s became Will County's first confirmed human case for 2012 early Aug. 31.
The woman initially reported a wide range of symptoms including: fever, stiff neck, headaches, a rash, acute sensitivity to light, and confusion. She was hospitalized Aug. 7, and discharged Aug. 15. No other information about her convalescence or current health status is available.
WNV is a potentially dangerous viral disease which can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Through noon today, the Illinois Department of Public Health had reported 59 WNV human infections and two fatalities. Will County is one of seven Illinois jurisdictions reporting human WNV activity so far this year. Since 2005, Will County has totaled 59 human infections and two fatalities.
The Health Department urges area residents to take personal precautions against mosquito bites this Labor Day weekend. Insect repellent is strongly advised and persons may wish to consider curtailing some outdoor activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. Long sleeves, pants, shoes and socks are also recommended.
Mosquitoes that typically carry WNV are being reported in record numbers across the state. Through Aug. 30, nearly 3,100 virus-positive mosquito batches were listed from around Illinois, including 88 from Will County. The Will County Health Department operates 15 mosquito monitoring sites, and 12 of them have reported at least one WNV-positive virus sample so far.
“I think at some point it would not be unreasonable to assume that we could have some human cases," Reato said at the time.
The best way to prevent West Nile is to avoid mosquito bites, Reato said. Some tips for steering clear of the insects:
- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if you have it.
- Empty standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.
To see Chicagoland cases, .