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updated: 9/7/2012 10:15 PM

Fifth West Nile case reported in Lake County

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  • Five human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this year in Lake County, health department officials announced Friday.

      Five human cases of West Nile virus have been reported this year in Lake County, health department officials announced Friday.
    Associated Press

 
 

The fifth human case of West Nile virus in Lake County has been discovered, health department officials announced Friday.

The most recent case involved a 60-year-old Mundelein man who became sick Aug. 25, health department spokeswoman Leslie Piotrowski said. His diagnosis was reported to authorities Thursday.

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The man was hospitalized but has been released.

The other infected people were identified as a 68-year-old Buffalo Grove man, a 65-year-old Grayslake woman, a 42-year-old Libertyville woman and a 69-year-old Lake Zurich man.

None of the cases has been fatal.

Even though summer is waning, health department officials used the announcement to remind people to take precautions against the mosquito-borne disease when outdoors.

"You can best protect yourself and your family against West Nile virus by following the three R's -- reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, repel them by wearing insect repellent and report areas where mosquitoes typically breed," Executive Director Irene Pierce said in a news release.

Extra mosquito spraying has occurred in many of the communities where illnesses have been reported, particularly in the southern half of the county, Piotrowski said.

West Nile virus first was identified in Illinois in 2001, and the first human deaths were reported the following year.

In the U.S., most people are infected between June and September, with infections typically peaking in mid-August.

Last year, 34 Illinois residents contracted West Nile and three died, state health officials said.

To prevent catching the virus, people should use insect repellent, wear long sleeves at dawn and dusk, fix tears in screens and empty pools of standing water, officials said.

Additionally, keep roof gutters and downspouts clear of debris, cover trash containers, fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water and change the water in bird baths and plant urns at least once a week.

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