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DuPage County Reports 2nd Human West Nile Virus Case

A Villa Park man is the second person in DuPage County to contract West Nile Virus this summer.

The reports the second human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in DuPage County in 2012. A Villa Park man in his 50s has contracted the virus, according to a release from the health departmet.

The Health Department reminds County residents that the presence of WNV is widespread in DuPage County so the risk of WNV is elevated and may remain so until the arrival of cooler temperatures. Therefore, County residents should concentrate on personal protection and are urged to be cautious, but not curtail their outdoor activities.
 
The number of cases is expected to increase, since additional reports have been received and confirmation is anticipated in the coming days.  Statewide, 2012 human case data, including cases by county, are provided on the Illinois Department of Public Health WNV website:  http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance_humancases_12.htm.
 
WNV is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes.  The best way to prevent West Nile virus disease is to avoid mosquito bites:

  • 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.

Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.  Less than 1 percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and organ transplants, are at greater risk for serious illness.

There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent, West Nile virus infection.  People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks.  In more severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.  Anyone who has symptoms that cause concern should contact a health care provider.
 
For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

Information courtesy of a press release from the DuPage County Health Department.

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