Deerfield man has first human case of West Nile virus in Lake County this year
A Deerfield man in his 70s has tested positive for West Nile virus, becoming the first human case of the potentially deadly illness in Lake County this year, health authorities announced Tuesday.
The man became ill in late July, according to the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center, which did not provide information of his current status.
To date, 85 batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2021, officials said.
"Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites and West Nile virus," health department Executive Director Mark Pfister said in Tuesday's announcement. "Even as the weather gets cooler, mosquitoes will remain active until the first hard frost."
Most people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms of illness. However, some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, and common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. In the most severe cases, those infected can suffer meningitis, encephalitis or even death. People older than 50 years and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk.
Authorities recommend draining standing water from around your home; using an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undecanone, or IR3535 when outdoors; and wearing long sleeves, pants and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
For more prevention tips, visit at www.fightthebitenow.com. Residents also can call the health department's West Nile hotline at (847) 377-8300 to report areas of stagnant water or locations of dead birds and to obtain more information on the virus.