Cook County reports first West Nile case of year - Dallas News |

Cook County reports first West Nile case of year

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A southwest suburban Oak Lawn man is the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in Cook County this year, health officials said Wednesday.

The man, in his 50s, became ill in late August and was hospitalized, according to a press release from the Cook County Department of Public Health. He has since been released and is recovering.

"As expected, with the recent dry, hot weather, there is an increased risk for West Nile virus infection throughout suburban Cook County," CCDPH chief operating officer Terry Mason said in the release.

Three other Illinois residents -- including a northwest suburban McHenry woman -- have tested positive for the virus this season, according to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

No deaths have been linked to the virus this year, the state health department's website said.

In suburban Cook County, at least 208 mosquito pools and five birds have tested positive for West Nile virus this year, the release said.

County health officials are urging residents to minimize their risk of being exposed to West Nile virus by removing standing water in their yards, making sure doors and windows have tightly fitting screens and using mosquito repellent outside.

The symptoms of the virus are usually mild and include fever, headache and body aches, but serious illnesses are possible.

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