Illinois' West Nile cases top 2003

Oct. 18, 2004 at 6:23 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Confirmation of two new cases of West Nile disease in Illinois has brought the 2004 total to 56 cases of the mosquito-borne illness, two more than 2003.

The latest cases were a 62-year-old suburban Chicago man who was diagnosed with West Nile encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, Sept 5. The man recovered and went home from the hospital, said Dr. Eric Whitaker, state public health director.

A 41-year-old Will County woman contracted West Nile encephalitis Sept. 25 and also recovered.

Two deaths have been reported; that of a 58-year-old man Sept. 1 and a 61-year-old suburban Cook County woman Sept. 23.

Illinois led the nation with 884 cases during 2002, including 66 deaths. Last year, increased spraying programs reduced the number of cases to 54, including one death.

As of Oct. 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta had confirmed 1,951 West Nile cases nationwide, including 62 deaths.

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