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First Case Of West Nile Confirmed In Cook County

CBS Chicago (con't)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The first human case of West Nile virus this year has been confirmed in Cook County.

The Department of Public Health says a man in his 50s from Oak Lawn became ill late last month with the virus.

He was hospitalized but was later released and is recovering.

In a news release, health officials say the virus is widespread in suburban Cook County, with 208 mosquito pools and five dead birds having tested positive for West Nile.

Last year’s hot weather led to more cases of West Nile than so far this year.

By mid September of last year, there were at least 58 reported cases of West Nile in Cook County and one death.

To reduce the risk of contracting West Nile, remove standing water around your home.

Water that is allowed to stagnate for three or four days becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Homeowners should keep weeds and grass cut short and keep gutters clean.

When outside, it is important to wear lightly colored loose-fitting clothing and to use mosquito repellent.

Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms, health officials said.

But illness can occur 3 to 15 days after an infected mosquito bite and cause symptoms of fever, headache and body aches.

The disease can affect all ages, but people over the age of 50 and those with a chronic disease, such as heart disease or cancer, may be at-risk for serious complications.