IL reports first human West Nile virus death of year

Henrietta Brewer
September 19, 2017

A Kankakee resident who died earlier this month is the state's first reported West Nile virus fatality of 2017.

IL public health officials say a Kankakee County resident is the first Illinoisan to die from West Nile virus this year in the state. There are 37 human cases of West Nile so far this year. DHEC says most people with the virus do not dev3elop any symptoms. People are urged to take precautions like using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers, plus staying indoors between dusk and dawn. While officials say the material is not harmful to people, pets, other insects, or gardens, it is not recommended to be directly in the path of the spray.

The virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that had been feeding on an infected bird.

Now 37 people in IL are infected with West Nile. Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches that last from a few days to a few weeks. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

You can find more information here.

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