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Cases of West Nile Virus in Chicago's Northern Suburbs

The CDC announced that this is the worst year for West Nile Virus since it started tracking in 1999. Check out how your area is faring in our interactive map of diagnosed cases in humans and mosquitoes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that reported cases of West Nile Virus are at an all time high.

“The 1118 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999,” the CDC reported.

While Illinois does not rank among the top five states in terms of cases, there have been 21 reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Illinois as of Aug. 21. Those cases have been clustered in the Chicago area, with 13 human cases in Cook County and one in Lake County.

In the map above, Patch charted both cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in both humans and mosquitoes, according to our reporting. You can read the coverage from the western part of the area here. For coverage closer to the lake, click here.

The CDC lists the following as symptoms of West Nile Virus:

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

And here are the organization’s recommendations on how to avoid getting sick in the first place:

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
Brian L. August 24, 2012 at 07:05 PM
That is still just doing what you did before. I meant in regards to the article you are commenting on as I'm sure you figured out. Those are all helpful and mostly things that I have heard about and am greatly aware of. But once again it is hijacking an article meant to help us take simple measures to prevent contracting WNV.
Brian L. August 24, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Yes, but my odds of that are slim because I am informed on how it is transmitted and ways to keep from getting it. Just as this article is here to keep us informed on how to prevent contracting WNV.
Brian L. August 25, 2012 at 02:04 AM
You don't need to get flustered. I chose to read it and respond to the fact that you don't think this story should be a concern to people. Again, as a new parent, knowing these things is nice. I know there are much bigger problems in the world and problems that can affect my son, but so can WNV. Taking a simple community action article and turning into a talk about media bias and fear driven reporting is doing the same thing you claim of the article. You have also turned this into a playground argument with Sandra. Of course she is at fault too. But don't talk about not reading your comments when you beg people to read them and respond. "Stop letting the media make you live in fear." That is a bold statement that people will answer. If you don't want to defend your comments accusatory, then don't keep answering. It's that simple. Yes reading your comments was my choice. I chose to read them and respond. That doesn't make you or me right, it makes it a discussion. So again, relax. If you don't want to be involved in it then don't be, but I plan on reading comments to learn what my "neighbors" think about certain issues and discus them if I please.
Tara May Tesimu August 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
My sister and I were talking about the same thing, Stephanie. It's been a low-mosquito season, I feel like. How odd.
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