Second Case of West Nile Virus

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The Illinois Department of Health confirmed Thursday a second human case of the West Nile virus.

State public health director, Dr John Lumpkin, says a 57-year-old Madison County man became critically ill with encephalitis. He remains hospitalized, but has been moved from the intensive care unit.

The fear of new west Nile cases pushed officials to spray for mosquitoes at the Springfield Fair grounds just before the big event.

Boone County Fair officials did spray for mosquitoes before the fair kicked off earlier this week and it seems like it's had a positive effect.

While fair organizers expressed concern about West Nile, they spray for mosquitoes each year. The spray cool temperatures and a dry summer have helped combat the pesky insect.

The only thing that seems to be buzzing and biting at the Boone County Fairgrounds this week is business.

West Nile has showed up in 53 Illinois counties. Officials say your best weapon is using a mosquito repellant if you choose to head outdoors. The Boone County Fair wraps up on Sunday.

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West Nile in Illinois

  • In Illinois, West Nile virus was first identified in September 2001 when laboratory tests confirmed its presence in two dead crows found in the Chicago metropolitan area.

  • Since then, more than 100 birds, mosquitoes and horses in seven counties -- six in the Chicago area and Crawford County in central Illinois -- have tested positive for the virus.

  • One human case of West Nile encephalitis has been reported in Illinois.

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has had a sophisticated disease surveillance system in place since 2000 to monitor animals and insects that can potentially carry the virus: wild birds; dead crows, blue jays and raptors; and mosquitoes.

  • Over the past two years, the virus, which can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, has quickly spread throughout the northeastern states and to states south and west of New York.

  • In 2001, West Nile virus was also identified in other Midwestern states, including Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.

States With Birds Testing Positive in 2002:

  • Alabama
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

Source: http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm (Illinois Department of Health Web site), and http://westnilevirus.nbii.gov/ (National Biological Information Infrastructure Web site) contributed to this report.


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