(CBS) -- Two people in DuPage County have died after contracting the West Nile Virus, health officials confirmed on Tuesday.
An Addison resident in their 70s and a West Chicago resident in their 60s became ill in late August.
There have been six human cases reported in DuPage County in 2023.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitos. Approximately one in five infected people will develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than one percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).
People over the age of 60 and those with cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and organ transplants are at greater risk for severe illness and rarely may progress to coma and death.
"We are saddened to report the first two deaths from West Nile Virus in DuPage County for 2023," said Adam Forker, Executive Director of the DuPage County Health Department. "Please make sure to protect yourself and loved ones from mosquito bites and reduce your exposure."
The best way to prevent West Nile Virus is to avoid mosquito bites and follow these rules:
- Drain those items that collect standing water around your home, yard, or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.
- Use an insect repellant containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
- Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
- Wear repellant outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
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