A LaSalle County Senior is the first person to die of West Nile virus in the state this year, the Illinois Department of Health said Wednesday in a press release.
The person who did not identify the authorities became ill earlier in the month and tested positive for West Nile virus, the mosquito-borne virus that causes symptoms such as fever, headache and muscle aches. Four out of five of those infected with the virus show no symptoms, according to the Department of Public Health. People older than 50 years and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for serious illness.
"Although we move towards the end of the summer, the West Nile virus remains a risk until the first frost," said the head of the health department. Nirav D. Shah in a statement Wednesday. "It's important for everyone to continue to take precautionary measures, such as repellents, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and stay indoors between dusk and dusk."
Health officials report that there are 22 human cases of the virus throughout the state. Birds and horses can also infect the virus.