SPRINGFIELD (WEHT) – The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Illinois for 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Tuesday that a Cook County resident in his 80s who became ill in mid-June tested positive for West Nile virus.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, which has picked up the virus by feeding on and 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 even death can occur. People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
Last year, IDPH reported 42 human cases of the West Nile virus, including four deaths. More information about West Nile virus can be found here.