Suburban Woman Diagnosed With West Nile Virus

The 38-year-old woman visited the Wisconsin Dells a week before her symptoms began, officials said, though it was not clear if she contracted the disease there or in the Chicago area

What to Know

  • A woman from west suburban Aurora was diagnosed with West Nile Virus after she checked into a hospital on July 5
  • She had severe headaches, fever, nausea and diarrhea, among other symptoms of the mosquito-borne illness
  • Officials encouraged residents to clear standing water, wear insect repellent with DEET and call the West Nile hotline at (815) 740-7631

A Chicago-area woman was diagnosed with West Nile Virus one week after she visited the Wisconsin Dells, authorities said Tuesday.

The 38-year-old woman from west suburban Aurora was checked into an area hospital on July 5, according to a statement from the Will County Health Department.

Complaining of severe headaches, fever, nausea, diarrhea and other symptoms, the woman was diagnosed with West Nile Virus, officials said, and has since recovered from the mosquito-transmitted illness without complication.

The woman said she was at the Wisconsin Dells roughly one week before the symptoms began, according to the health department, but it was not clear if she contracted the disease there or in the Chicago area.

The case marked Will County's first human diagnosis of West Nile Virus, but officials noted that the illness has been active in Will County this summer. Out of 14 mosquito traps operated by the Will County Health Department, nine tested positive for West Nile Virus, authorities said - increasing from one on June 29.

Officials issued a reminder that stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, particularly hazardous if a heavy rainfall is followed by excessive heat.

"When you have extreme heat that dries up the water, the Culex mosquitos then migrate towards artificial sources of water to lay their eggs," health department spokesman Kyle Moy said in a statement. "This could be stagnant water in gutters, birdbaths, pools, or pool covers lying on the ground."

Will County residents were encouraged to call in complaints about properties with standing water, as well as reports of dead birds without physical injury - a key sign of the virus, to the department's West Nile hotline at (815) 740-7631.

To avoid mosquito bites, officials recommended wearing an insect repellent with DEET and to wear socks, shoes and even long sleeve shirts and pants during peak mosquito times between dusk and dawn.

Contact Us