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1st human case of West Nile reported in Lake County

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An Ingleside resident hospitalized in late August was Lake County’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus this summer.

The person was released last week, according to the Lake County Health Department. Two people tested positive for the virus in Cook County last month. The state’s first confirmed case came in late May in west-central Illinois.

Eighty-four batches of mosquitoes and two birds have tested positive in Lake County as well, health officials said.

“This is the time of year when we see human cases of West Nile virus,” said Mark Pfister, the health department’s interim executive director. “Although the weather is getting cooler, mosquitoes will remain active until the first hard freeze.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who contract the virus will show no symptoms, though about 20 percent will experience fever, aching and nausea. More rarely, severe cases can lead to paralysis and death.

Authorities urge people to drain water from outdoor containers; wear long-sleeved shirts and pants; stay indoors during the early evening and morning hours; and wear insect repellent that contains DEET.