Second human West Nile virus case confirmed in Skokie
Updated: August 15, 2012 4:44PM
A second human case of the West Nile virus has been reported in Skokie, according to the Skokie Health Department.
The virus was first detected in June in mosquitoes in Skokie, followed by the first human case of the year in the village. A woman was hospitalized from the virus. There have been at least six other human cases in the state this year.
While the village did not provide details about this latest human case, it is stressing that precautions be taken to avoid contracting the virus.
• Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
• Mosquitoes can breed in standing water. Eliminate this 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 repellent to exposed skin. The most effective repellents contain 35 percent DEET; follow application instructions carefully.
• Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure window screens are in good condition.
• Maintain all 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.
• Keep grass and shrubbery cut short. Adult mosquitoes accumulate in shady cool areas.
• Keep gutters clean and free flowing. Eliminate dips and low areas that collect water.
Symptoms of West Nile virus may begin between three and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most infected people have mild symptoms, such as a fever, headache and rash that lasts a few days.
But in rare cases, the virus 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 symptoms. Those who think they have the virus are urged to contact their health care provider. The Skokie Health Department and the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District are continuing 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. ~.