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Cary man recovers from West Nile

WOODSTOCK – A 56-year-old Cary man is McHenry County’s first case of West Nile virus this year, the McHenry County Department of Health confirmed Wednesday.

The man was not hospitalized and has recovered, the health department said in a news release.

The last human case of West Nile virus in the county was last year. There was one case in 2010, five in 2007 and six in 2006 during the months of August, September and October.

The Illinois Department of Health has recorded 115 human cases in 2012, including three deaths. There were 34 human cases and three deaths in 2011.

Forty-one mosquito batches and eight birds have tested positive for the virus this year in McHenry County.

Illness from West Nile virus usually is mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illnesses, such as encephalitis and meningitis and even death, are possible.

Illness can occur three to 15 days after an infected mosquito bite. 

The disease can affect all ages, but those 50 and older have the highest risk of severe problems.

Public health officials continue to urge residents to take precautions because the risk of mosquito-borne West Nile virus lasts until the first hard frost. Mosquitoes transmit the virus to humans after feeding on an infected bird.

To prevent against becoming infected, residents are encouraged to:

• Limit time outdoors during peak mosquito biting hours from dusk to dawn

• When outside in evening and early-morning hours, use repellent and wear protective clothing, such as longsleeves, long pants and socks.

• Spray clothes with a repellent containing DEET for extra protection. Always follow label directions.

• Get rid of standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed: birdbaths, old tires, trash cans, flower pot trays, wheelbarrows, etc.

• Have tight-fitting screens on both windows and doors; replace screens with tears.

For information on West Nile virus, visit the county health department website, www.mcdh.info, or call 815-334-4585.

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