The Lake County Health Department announced Tuesday that they have identified the first human case of West Nile virus in Lake County in 2022.
Lake County Health Department spokeswoman Emily Young said the case was found in a Lake County man, who is in his 60s.
The man became ill in early September.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported on August 30 that the first human case and death of West Nile virus in Illinois for the year was a Cook County resident in their 70s who became ill at the beginning of August.
West Nile virus was a contributing factor in the Cook County resident’s death and laboratory testing at the CDC confirmed the diagnosis.
“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.
73 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 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 to obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus.
The West Nile hotline number is 847-377-8300.