Year’s first case of human West Nile virus found in Lake County

Resident in his 60s became ill in early September

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.

WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center reported the first human case of West Nile virus in the county this year.

A Lake County resident in his 60s became ill in early September.

“Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites and West Nile virus,” said Mark Pfister, the health department’s executive director. “Even as the weather gets cooler, mosquitoes will remain active until the first hard frost.”

To date, 73 out of 579 (12%) pools or batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2022.

Follow the “4 D’s of Defense” to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes:

• Drain: Drain standing water from items around your home, yard and business.

• Defend: When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undecanone or IR3535 and reapply according to label directions.

• Dawn to Dusk: Protect yourself all day and night, and wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.

• Dress: Wear long sleeves, pants and closed-toe shoes when outdoors to cover your skin.

Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms of illness. However, some may become ill usually three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. In some individuals, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

Find more prevention tips and information on West Nile virus at

Residents can call the health department’s West Nile hotline to report areas of stagnant water, locations of dead birds and obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus. The West Nile hotline number is 847-377-8300.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

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