The announced on Tuesday that there are now 12 human cases of West Nile virus in DuPage County.
Those affected by West Nile virus are in their 20s to 70s, and are located in Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Villa Park and now in Westmont as well.
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.
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 is reminding residents that the presence of West Nile virus is widespread in DuPage County, so the risk of West Nile virus is elevated and may remain so until the arrival of cooler temperatures. 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).
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.