WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — Officials have confirmed that a woman from west suburban DuPage County has died of the West Nile virus.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, the woman was in her 70s and from Westmont. The DuPage County Health Department has declined to identify her further.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports
The Illinois Department of Public Health reports in addition to the DuPage County case, 10 human cases of West Nile have been reported in Illinois so far this year. Among them is that of a Cook County man in his 60s who died earlier this month.
The West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has become infected with the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Human illness occurs when an infected mosquito bites a person.
Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms and never become ill. But some may become ill three to 15 days following a bite.
Symptoms can include fever, headache and body aches. People over the age of 50 and those with chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer may be more at-risk for meningitis or encephalitis, two life-threatening diseases, but people of any age can contract the disease.
Last year, 30 of the state’s 102 counties were found to have a West Nile positive bird, mosquito, horse or human case. A total of 61 human cases, including four deaths, were reported.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.