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Will County's First Human Case of West Nile Reported in Romeoville

A woman in her 40s was hospitalized Aug. 7 and discharged Aug. 15 after contracting the disease.

A Romeoville woman is the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Will County, according to the Will County Health Department.

The woman, who is in her early 40s, reportedly experienced a range of symptoms, including a fever, stiff neck, rash, acute sensitivity to light and confusion. She was hospitalized Aug. 7 and discharged Aug. 15. 

No other information on the woman's condition was available Friday.

As of Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health had reported 59 human WNV infections and two fatalities in the state this year.

Will County is one of seven Illinois jurisdictions reporting human WNV activity this year. Since 2005, Will County has totaled 59 human infections and two fatalities.

Last week, health department spokesman Vic Reato said that while there had yet to be any human cases reported in Will County, there were numerous cases of WNV-positive birds and mosquitoes.

“I think at some point it would not be unreasonable to assume that we could have some human cases," Reato said at the time.

Mosquitoes that typically carry WNV are being reported in record numbers across the state, according to Reato.

Through Aug. 30, nearly 3,100 virus-positive mosquito batches were listed from around Illinois, including 88 from Will County. Eight new Will County batches tested positive on Friday alone, Reato said.

The Will County Health Department operates 15 mosquito monitoring sites, and 12 of them have reported at least one WNV-positive virus sample so far.

The best way to prevent West Nile is to avoid mosquito bites, Reato said. Some tips for steering clear of the insects:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors.  Use air conditioning, if you have it.
  • Empty standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.

For more information on the disease, visit the CDC's West Nile fact sheet or the Will County Health Department website.

To see Chicagoland cases, . 

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