First Human West Nile Case Hits Early This Year

Jun 6, 2016

Culex Pipiens house mosquito which carries the West Nile virus
Credit Tim Sheerman-Chase / Creative Commons

State officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in Illinois this year. The Illinois Department of Public Health said an adolescent in west-central Illinois became ill with the virus late last month.

Health department officials said the first human case came much earlier this year. Human cases of the mosquito-borne virus usually aren't reported until the end of July or beginning of August. Last year's first human case was reported Aug. 19, 2015.  

There were 77 human cases last year including nine deaths.  

Health department officials said the early onset this year means it's important for Illinoisans to protect themselves against the virus. The virus is spread through mosquito bites.       

Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.