The Lake County Health Department announced Tuesday the first human case of West Nile virus in Lake County in 2021.
Lake County Health Department spokeswoman Emily Young said the case was found in a Deerfield man, who is in his 70s. He became ill in late July.
On August 3, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first human case of West Nile virus in Illinois was a Cook County resident in his 80s who became ill in mid-June and later tested positive.
“Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites and West Nile virus,” said Mark Pfister, the Lake County Health Department’s Executive Director.
“Even as the weather gets cooler, mosquitoes will remain active until the first hard frost,” Pfister said.
85 pools or batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus this year in the state.
The health department recommends residents follow the “4 Ds of Defense” to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
“Drain” standing water from items around your home, yard, and business. “Defend” by using an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undecanone, or IR3535 and reapply according to label directions.
“Dawn to Dusk” protect yourself all day and night and wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
“Dress” in long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes when outdoors to cover your skin.
Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms of illness. However, some may become ill usually 3-15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. In some individuals, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.
People older than 50 years and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus, health officials said.
Residents can also call the Lake County Health Department’s West Nile hotline to report areas of stagnant water, locations of dead birds and obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus.
The West Nile hotline number is 847-377-8300.