Another case of West Nile, a virus commonly associated with mosquito bites, has been confirmed in a McLean County man during hospitalization in early October, said the McLean County Health Department.
It is the second human case of West Nile in McLean County this year.
“West Nile virus is still a concern for the county until the weather temperature is consistently below 55 degrees or we experience a hard frost,” Director of the McLean County Health Department Walt Howe said in a statement.
“It is important for individuals to protect themselves from mosquito bites that could lead to West Nile virus infection by wearing mosquito repellent with DEET, long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there have been 74 human cases of West Nile in 2013, with seven deaths, not including the latest McLean County case.
Most college students are as susceptible to West Nile as anyone, Jean Swearingen, medical director of Student Health Services, said.
However, the very young, very old and those with preexisting medical illnesses are especially at risk, she added.
“Fortunately, a serious West Nile infection is still quite rare. Most people have no symptoms and the infection resolves without problem,” Swearingen explained.
West Nile may cause mild symptoms that are similar to many other viruses, such as fever, headache, nausea and vomiting that lasts several days.
“Rarely, there can be more serious symptoms, such as high fever, coma, seizures, paralysis or death,” Swearingen said.