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16th human West Nile case in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sep 02, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Illinois Public Health officials have confirmed the 16th human case of West Nile disease in the state this year and warn the disease will peak in September.

The latest case was a 58-year-old DuPage County man who was hospitalized after developing West Nile encephalitis in mid-August. He was the second DuPage County resident to be diagnosed with West Nile virus infection this summer, Dr. Eric Whitaker, state public health director said.

In 2003, Illinois recorded 54 human cases of West Nile disease, including one death. In 2002, the state was the nation's hotspot for the mosquito-borne disease with 884 human cases and 66 deaths.

West Nile has spread coast-to-coast since its arrival in the lower 48 states in an outbreak in New York City in 1999.

More than 530 cases have been reported in Arizona and California in 2004, with 10 deaths.

West Nile has killed 586 people in the past five years and no human vaccine is available.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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