Cicero man is first Cook County West Nile death of the year
FROM STAFF REPORTS September 17, 2013 8:19PM
Updated: October 19, 2013 7:10PM
CICERO — A west suburban man is the first West Nile death of the year in Cook County and the second in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Monday.
The 67-year-old Cicero man became ill in late August and has died, according to a statement Tuesday from the IDPH.
The man also suffered from other complications, according to a statement from the Town of Cicero.
“We are very saddened and express our condolences to the family,” Cicero President Larry Dominick said in the statement.
“I am urging everyone to take necessary precautions to protect themselves and to also monitor elderly relatives and residents — especially those who live by themselves — for symptoms,” Dominick said.
The man is the second West Nile-related death in Illinois in 2013. The death of an elderly Logan County resident from the virus was reported last week.
“The first West Nile virus related deaths this year occurred later than we typically see,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.
“Even with the cooler temperatures, until the first hard freeze, you still need to protect yourself against mosquito bites and possible West Nile virus infection.”
To date, West Nile virus positive birds, mosquitoes and/or human cases have been reported in 59 Illinois counties.
The first human case this year was reported on Aug. 21, in a McHenry County woman in her 50s. Last year the first death was reported in August.
For the 2012 season, IDPH reported the second highest number of West Nile virus human cases in state history with 290 residents and 12 deaths.
So far this year, just 10 human cases have been reported.
An IDPH statement said West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.
Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.
In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.
People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus, the IDPH warns.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
More information about West Nile virus can be found on the IDPH website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.
Surveillance numbers are updated every Wednesday afternoon at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance13.htm.