The number of human cases of West Nile virus has risen from five last week to seven Monday and now includes a Naperville resident, according to the DuPage County Health Department.
Individual cases have been confirmed in Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Lombard, Lisle, Villa Park and Naperville, the health department announced Monday. The ages of those affected range from 40s to 70s.
One of those seven cases resulted in a fatality when Lombard Village President Bill Mueller, 76, Saturday, Aug. 18. He had been battling cancer since 2008, and had been hospitalized since Aug. 5.
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.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes, and can be prevented by:
- Using insect repellents when you go outdoors.
- Wearing long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn.
- Installing or repairing screens on windows and doors. Using air conditioning, if you have it.
- Emptying standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.
The Health Department reminds County residents that the presence of WNV is widespread in the DuPage County environment, so the risk of WNV is elevated and may remain so until the arrival of cooler temperatures. DuPage County residents should concentrate on personal protection and are urged to be cautious, but not curtail their outdoor activities.
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), according to press release from the DuPage County Health Department.
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. Individuals with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, but more severe cases often require hospitalization.