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.
The first case of West Nile virus in DeKalb County has been reported to the county health department. A 59-year-old male county resident was diagnosed recently, a department spokesperson said.
“This is not unexpected,” said Jane Lux, Public Health Administrator at the DeKalb County Health Department, “due to the fact that there have been cases diagnosed throughout Illinois and the United States, and we know that mosquitoes in our area are infected.”
West Nile virus is striking people earlier than usual this year in Illinois, and health officials say the number of cases now stands at six. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Wednesday that human cases have been reported in Chicago, Evanston and several Chicago suburbs.