West Nile Virus Claims First Victim of the Year in Illinois
Officials in the Chicago suburb of Lombard say longtime village President William Mueller has died of complications from the West Nile virus.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Mueller was hospitalized on Aug. 5 and died Saturday. He was 76, and had served as village president since 1993.
The virus is striking people earlier this year because the weather created good breeding conditions for the mosquito that carries the virus. Last year, Illinois' first human case wasn't reported until Aug. 19. That year, there were 34 cases, including three deaths.
Statewide, the number of reported human cases stood at 12 as of Thursday. Illinois patients have ranged in age from 47 to 76. Mueller's is the first reported death.
Officials recommend insect repellent and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.