Cook County resident becomes first victim of West Nile in Illinois this year 

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CHICAGO – A person in their late 70’s in Cook County became the first casualty of West Nile Virus this year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confirmed the death this afternoon, saying the person fell ill at the beginning of August and subsequently died. 

“WNV was a contributing factor in the death. Laboratory testing at CDC has confirmed the diagnosis of WNV.” IDPH reports. 

“This unfortunate first reported death of the year from West Nile virus in Illinois is a reminder that this disease poses a risk, especially to those who have weakened immune systems,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “While the weather is warm and mosquitos are breeding, we should all take precautions to protect ourselves from mosquitoes and the viruses they carry by wearing insect repellent and eliminating standing water around our homes where mosquitos breed.”

This year there have been 30 counties across Illinois to confirm positive mosquito batches. The very first mosquito batch to test positive for West Nile virus was collected on May 17, 2022, in Will County. 

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