A Chicago resident died of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. The death marks the first West Nile virus-related fatality in the state this year, Illinois health officials announced this week.
The resident, who was not identified, first fell ill in mid-September and subsequently tested positive for the disease, officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said in a news release.
“Although we are already into fall, West Nile virus remains a risk until the first hard frost,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions such as using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.”
West Nile virus, which was first reported in the U.S. in 1999, is typically spread by infected mosquitoes. Though side effects can be severe, most people who are infected experience little to no symptoms and fully recover.