Elderly south suburban man dies of West Nile virus

Flickr | John Tann

CHICAGO (STMW) - An elderly south suburban man, who was the second confirmed case of West Nile virus in the Chicago area this summer, died Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Monday.

The man, who was in his 90s, became sick Aug. 22, was hospitalized the next day, and died Thursday, Aug., 27, according to health department.

“Sadly, this case reminds us that West Nile virus can cause serious illness, and although rare, at times can lead to death,” Cook County Department of Public Health COO Dr. Terry Mason said in the statement.

The victim the second confirmed human case of West Nile in the area. A 50-year-old Skokie woman is now recovering at home after five days in the hospital.

Residents are reminded to remove standing water from around homes, repel mosquitoes when outdoors around dusk and dawn, and repair or replace torn screens on doors and windows.

The virus can cause fever, nausea and headaches. It can cause severe illness and death in rare cases.

Last year, state health officials reported 44 human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois, including four deaths.