Wednesday, August 22, 2012

West Nile virus close to home

West Nile virus is something that never seemed quite real to me or to many people I know because the cases have been relatively rare, and I never knew anyone who was affected. It's gotten a lot more real lately.

I recently learned that a Morgan Park resident has been hospitalized with West Nile virus. She's now been in the hospital a week and a half and is fighting to regain her strength and return to a normal life. This week I heard that Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton was also hospitalized with the virus. The same article mentions that the mayor of Lombard recently died, and that West Nile virus is blamed for his death.

Unlike a more typical summer, the hot dry conditions we've seen have been ideal for the type of mosquito that spreads the virus. Until frost kills them off for the year, it's not a bad idea to protect yourself against mosquito bites.

To learn more about West Nile virus, click here for a National Library of Medicine article and here for info from the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.  The IDPH page is worth checking out, because it provides different types of information to supplement the first article, which focuses more on symptoms.

I hope that all who are currently affected can make a full recovery.

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