First human case of 2021 reported by Illinois Department of Public Health

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in the state for this year.

In a news release, IDPH officials said a Cook County man in his 80s became ill in mid-June. He tested positive for the virus.

“While we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also remember to take steps to protect our health from other illnesses,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, IDPH director. “West Nile virus is something we see every year in Illinois and it is important people take steps to prevent mosquito bites and the viruses they carry by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around their homes.”

In 2020, 26 Illinois counties reported either a West Nile virus-positive mosquito batch, bird, horse, and/or human case. There were 42 human cases–although cases in humans are underreported– in 2020, including four deaths.

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