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Six cases of West Nile confirmed in Cook County

Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by John P. Huston

The number of reported cases of humans with West Nile Virus in Illinois increased over the past week from two to six, and all instances were found in Cook County, officials said today.

The Illinois Department of Public Health updates its records of human cases of West Nile Virus each Wednesday. On Aug. 1, there were two reports in the state — both in suburban Cook County, according to spokeswoman Melaney Arnold. A week later, four more instances were added to the list, including a 57-year-old Evanston resident, two in Chicago and one more in a Cook County suburb.

Sean McDermott, spokesman for the Cook County Department of Public Health, said the first two reports of West Nile Virus were late last month in Des Plaines and Rolling Meadows. A third suburban case was reported last week in Arlington Heights, he said.

Skokie’s health department last week announced that a 76-year-old woman there was hospitalized with West Nile.

Evanston Spokesman Eric Palmer said he could not release more information about the Evanston resident’s condition, citing federal privacy laws, but noted the first mosquito that tested positive in the north suburb for West Nile Virus this year was on June 18.

In a press release, Evanston Health Department Director Evonda Thomas urged residents to take precautions.

“The best way to prevent West Nile disease, or any other mosquito-borne illness, is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home,” Thomas said, in the release. “I am imploring residents to check their yards to look for any standing water. Bird baths, gutters or children’s toys might collect water and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Prevention is the best means of attacking West Nile virus.”

Skokie’s health department director, Catherine Counard, said last week that the Skokie woman was “quite ill” and was possibly bitten by a mosquito in the village.




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