CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - The year's first human case of the West Nile virus has been reported in Chicago.
A Chicago man in his 70s came down with the illness in late July, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
"Although the first human case of West Nile virus this year in Illinois has been reported a little later than we typically see, it is important to remember that there is an ongoing risk of disease from a mosquito bite," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in the statement.
Common symptoms of West Nile include fever, nauseam headaches and muscle aches, the health department said. People older than 60 or those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of getting sick.
"West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it's important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home," Ezike said.
Twenty-one counties across the state have reported positive tests for West Nile this year, including two birds and 222 mosquito batches, IDPH said. Last year, 74 counties in Illinois reported positive tests in mosquitoes, birds, horses or people. There were 176 human cases reported in the state in 2018, including 17 deaths.