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First human West Nile Virus death reported in IL for 2017

20 September 2017

A Kankakee County resident has died of West Nile virus, the first IL resident to die of the mosquito-borne illness this year.

Officials confirmed a person in the area had West Nile, and say it is present in mosquito populations in the area as well.

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IDPH reported four out five human cases don't involve any symptoms. Past year 155 people were infected, and six died. So far in 2017, there have been 37 human cases of West Nile in the state. Residents can also use DEET-based repellent and stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

The virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that had been feeding on an infected bird. Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches that last from a few days to a few weeks.

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In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the IDPH website. Those at a higher risk for severe illness are people over 50 years old and people with weakened immune systems.

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The person tested positive for West Nile virus and died earlier in September.

First human West Nile Virus death reported in IL for 2017