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Third West Nile case found in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Aug 04, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An Illinois teenager has been diagnosed as the third confirmed case of West Nile disease in the state so far this year, public health officials said.

A spinal fluid sample taken from the 14-year-old St. Clair County boy tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease, said Dr. Eric Whitaker, state public health director.

The other cases were a 67-year-old man in far northwest Illinois and a 39-year-old Jackson County man. Both have since recovered.

The St. Clair County teen was hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis and is back home.

In 2002, Illinois led the nation with 884 confirmed West Nile cases and 66 deaths. There were 54 human cases of the disease and one death last year.

Public health officials say the disease continues to spread with a bluejay collected in Montgomery County and mosquitoes collected in Kane County testing positive.

Only about 20 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito will develop symptoms of the disease.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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