A Chicago suburban village board president has become the state’s first West Nile death of the year. Bill Mueller died Saturday at the age of 76 from complications of West Nile Virus. The Lombard Village President’s death is the first from West Nile in Illinois this year. The Illinois Department of Public health says there are 21 human cases of West Nile so far this year compared with 34 human cases for the entire year in 2011.
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IDPH spokeswoman Sabrina Miller says we are at record levels of West Nile Virus activity nationwide and there is very high mosquito activity in Illinois. So far this year 38 counties have reported mosquito batches, birds or people testing positive for West Nile. The Centers for Disease Control reports 693 cases nationwide. IDPH is also confirming the first human case of West Nile in Southern Illinois. The Crawford County Health Department confirms that a woman in her 80’s tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
To protect yourself follow the “three R’s.” Reduce exposure by avoiding being outside when mosquitoes are most active. Repel by using insect repellent and wearing long sleeve shirts and pants. Report any dead birds and areas of stagnant water.