The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the death of Lombard's Village President the state's first and only fatality from West Nile Virus this year.
William J. "Bill" Mueller, the longest serving village president in Lombard History, died from complications with the virus on Saturday.
This death is the first caused by the virus for Illinois in 2012, according to a release put out by the Illinois Department of Public Health, adding that this year there are “record levels” of the virus nationwide.
Southern Illinois is facing its first case of the disease, as a Crawford County woman in her 80s recently tested positive, according to the release.
Illinois has seen a total of 21 human cases of West Nile so far this year, compared to 34 for the entire year in 2011, the release said. The first case was reported on July 24, which is a month earlier than cases have been reported in previous years.
As of the second week in August, a total of 693 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the year. This is the largest number in the same period since 1999, the year the virus was first detected in the United States.
Common symptoms of West Nile infections include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, though many show no symptoms at all.
The IDPH recommends reducing outdoor exposure between dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active, having screens on all windows, keeping windows and doors shut and wearing mosquito repellant and protective clothing to prevent West Nile.