CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in the first three mosquito batches of the year in Illinois.
The infected mosquitoes were found in Cook County, with one batch collected in Evanston on May 30 and two batches in Park Ridge on May 31.
No human cases have been reported so far in 2023. IDPH urges residents, especially the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, to protect themselves by using insect repellent and eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed.
West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquito bites and can cause severe illness. In 2022, 44 counties in Illinois reported West Nile virus-positive mosquito batches, birds, horses, and/or human cases.
While 34 human cases were officially recorded, including eight deaths, IDPH emphasizes that human cases are often underreported and do not reflect the true number of infections.