List of Local West Nile Virus Cases Grows
Cook County health officials report new case of West Nile virus in Chicago Ridge.
The Cook County Department of Public Health added another human West Nile virus case to the growing tally in suburban Cook County.
As of Friday, 29 cases of the mosquito-borne virus had been reported. A Chicago Ridge woman in her thirties was added to that count bringing the number of local West Nile virus cases to six.
“The list is getting long,” said Amy Poore, spokeswoman for the Cook County health department.
Earlier this week the Center for Disease Control announced that cases of West Nile virus are at an all-time high, with 1,118 reported through the third week of August. The CDC said that this is the highest reported number of cases since in the West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.
Cook County health officials also provided the genders and age ranges of the other area patients, including:
- A man in his 60s in Evergreen Park
- An Oak Lawn man in his 60s
- A man in his 30s in Palos Park,
- And in Oak Forest man in his 40s and a girl in her teens.
Earlier this week the Village of Evergreen Park announced that Mayor James Sexton had been diagnosed with West Nile virus. He is expected to make a full recovery.
See the map of West Nile virus cases across the Chicago region.
Healthcare facilities are required to report cases to the Cook County Health Department and send laboratory work to the state for confirmation. Poore said there was some delay with the state’s numbers, but that Cook County’s were the most up to date.
The virus is transmitted when a mosquito that has been feeding on an infected bird goes on to bite a human being. Most people who are bit by an infected mosquito have no symptoms, but a few may become sick three to 15 days after being bit, according to health officials.
Learn more about the symptoms of WNV and avoiding mosquito bites.
Symptoms may include fever, headache and body aches, and in rare cases, more serious outcomes such as encephalitis, meningitis or even death are possible. People over the age of 50 are most susceptible, health officials say.