Four people in DuPage County have died of West Nile Virus, out of 28 human cases, the DuPage County Health Department announced Wednesday.
Those affected by WNV are in their 20s-70s, and are located in Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glyn Ellyn, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Villa Park and Westmont, according to a press release from the DuPage County Health Department. Four of those 28 cases resulted in fatalities related to WNV infection.
As of Sept. 18, there were 94 cases of West Nile virus reported in Illinois, which resulted in three deaths (two in DuPage and one in Kane County), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection. Based on the numbers, this latest death would bring the total number of deaths in Illinois to four.
Through Sept. 18, 48 states reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 3,142 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 134 deaths, were reported to CDC. Of these, 1,630 or 52 percent were classified as neuroinvasive disease, which includes illnesses such as meningitis or encephalitis and 1,512 or 48 percent were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.
The CDC reports the 3,142 cases are the highest number of cases reported through the third week in September since 2003.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has statistics on the number of cases in the state along with other information on the West Nile virus on its website.
After being bitten, people typically have symptoms of the virus within three to 14 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best way to avoid the risk is to avoid being bitten.
According to the DuPage County Health Department 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.
Here are tips from the CDC:
- When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
- Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
- Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in birdbaths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
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