CHICAGO – Health officials have confirmed West Nile virus from mosquitoes in seven Illinois counties so far in 2022.
The first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the state this year were reported on May 24 in Roselle in DuPage County. Since then, six more counties, Cook, Will, Logan, Edgar, Macoupin and Washington, have reported batches of mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile virus.
While no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois so far this year, the state reported 64 human cases and five deaths among Illinoisans from the virus in 2021. Public health officials around the country are hoping people take precautions during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week.
“West Nile virus is a serious illness, and we want to remind everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites at this time of year when so many of us are spending more time outdoors,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars. “The most important things we can do are to wear insect repellent if we are spending time outside and eliminate standing water where mosquitos breed around our homes. These precautions are especially important for those with weakened immune systems”
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a house mosquito that picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.
Illinois officials say extra steps, like closing windows and doors, replacing sources of standing water frequently and using repellant. Residents are also asked to report locations that may produce large amounts of mosquitoes to their local health department. For updates on the virus around Illinois, click here.