DuPage County resident dies from West Nile Virus

Officials said a DuPage County resident died from the West Nile virus, the first to do so this year.

The person who died was over the age of 65 and became ill in early September, according to a news release issued Friday by the DuPage County Health Department. The news release did not identify the person who died.

“The report of a death is a sad reminder that it’s still important to protect yourself, protect your family against West Nile virus,” Karen Ayala, the health department executive director, said.

There have been 14 human cases reported in DuPage County this year, including a Carol Stream resident who was diagnosed last week.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s most recent report indicated 22 cases of West Nile virus in the state this year, including a LaSalle County resident who also died.

In 2017, there were 90 human cases of West Nile virus, including eight deaths, according to the department.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, 4 out of 5 people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.

People over the age of 60, and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and organ transplants are at greater risk for serious illness or death.