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LaSalle County resident is first human to die from West Nile virus in Illinois this year

LASALLE COUNTY - A LaSalle County resident has died after testing positive for West Nile virus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confirmed the first human West Nile virus-related death of 2018 in Illinois on Wednesday. The resident, over the age of 65, became ill during the first part of August. 

“Although we’re moving toward the end of summer, West Nile virus remains a risk until the first hard frost,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. said. “It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions like using insect repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.”

Last year, IDPH reported the first human West Nile virus death in Illinois on Sept. 29, 2017.

IDPH is currently reporting 22 human cases. 

West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. 

People older than 50 and immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk for severe illness.

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