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First West Nile case confirmed in Skokie

Friday, August 03, 2012
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Skokie officials are warning residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites after the first human case of West Nile was confirmed Friday.

An adult woman has been hospitalized with the disease, according to the Skokie Health Department.

It is the third confirmed case of West Nile in Cook County this year. The first two cases were women in their 60s from Des Plaines and Rolling Meadows.

West Nile was first detected in mosquitoes in Skokie in June 2012.

The Skokie Health Department said the hot summer weather is an ideal environment for mosquito breeding. The department urges residents to protect themselves and their families by taking these precautions:

  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Eliminate risk by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply mosquito repellant to exposed skin - the most effective contain 35 percent DEET.
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure screens are in good condition.
  • Maintain swimming pools in a clean and sanitary manner, with all circulation and filtration equipment operational and chemical levels within recommended guidelines; drain water from pool covers.
  • Symptoms of West Nile infection are typically felt three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

    Most infected people have mild symptoms such as a fever, headache and rash that last a few days.

    In rare cases, West Nile can cause severe disease, with symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma.

    Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of complications from the virus.

    There is no specific treatment for West Nile other than to treat the symptoms. Contact your healthcare provider if you exhibit symptoms.

    The Village of Skokie Health Department and the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District will continue cooperative surveillance and control efforts through the end of the mosquito season.

    For information on West Nile Virus and prevention, contact the Skokie Health Department at (847) 933-8484. For information on mosquito control operations, contact the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District at (847) 446-9434.

    (Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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