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updated: 8/14/2012 6:29 PM

Lombard mayor Mueller fighting cancer, West Nile virus

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  • Bill Mueller

      Bill Mueller

 
 

Lombard Village President Bill Mueller, who has been hospitalized since Aug. 5 battling cancer, now is also fighting West Nile virus, a village spokeswoman said.

Mueller, 76, was transported to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Aug. 5 and went into intensive care the next day. Lombard spokeswoman Joelyn Kott said doctors on Tuesday determined he has West Nile virus in addition to the cancer multiple myeloma, which causes a low red blood cell count and makes patients more likely to get infections.

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Mueller's appears to be among the first West Nile cases in DuPage County. The DuPage County Health Department reported the first confirmed case, affecting a woman in her 50s from Downers Grove, on Tuesday afternoon.

Six cases of West Nile virus were reported in humans statewide as of Aug. 8, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. All six of the cases, four in women and two in men, struck Cook County residents, including women from Des Plaines and Rolling Meadows.

In DuPage County, 89 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus as of Aug. 8, compared with only one positive pool during the same period last year.

Those results indicate mosquitoes that transmit the disease are widespread, so the DuPage County Health Department suggests taking precautions by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves at dawn and dusk, fixing screens and emptying pools of standing water.

Last year, 34 Illinois residents contracted West Nile and three died, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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