Illinois' first human case of West Nile virus this year is in McHenry County. Health officials say a woman in her 50s got sick earlier this month. The state had nearly 300 human cases last year and a dozen people died. To date, birds and mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile virus have been reported in 50 counties.
According to the CDC, West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.