DuPage County Health Department announced Friday there are now 10 human cases of West Nile virus in DuPage County, including a newly reported case in Elmhurst.
Those affected are in their 20s to 70s. In addition to Elmhurst, cases have been reported in Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville and Villa Park. The case in Villa Park
The age and gender of the Elmhurst victim is not immediately known. Calls to the DuPage County Health Department were not immediately returned, but more information will be provided when it becomes available.
The presence of West Nile Virus, which is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes, is widespread in DuPage County. The risk of contracting the disease is elevated and may remain so until the arrival of cooler temperatures, according to the Health Department.
The number of cases will increase in the coming days since additional reports have been received and are awaiting confirmation. Statewide, human case data for 2012, including cases by county, are provided on the Illinois Department of Public Health WNV website.
County residents are urged to be cautious but not curtail their outdoor activities. West Nile can be prevented by:
- Using insect repellents outdoors
- Wearing long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn
- Installing or repairing screens on windows and doors
- Using air conditioning
- Emptying standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools
Approximately one in five people who are infected with WNV 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 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 with symptoms that cause concern should contact a health care provider.