• 14th Aug, 2019

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Illinois for 2019. A Chicago resident in his 70s became ill in late July.

    “Although the first human case of West Nile virus this year in Illinois has been reported a little later than we typically see, it is important to remember that there is an ongoing risk of disease from a mosquito bite,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it’s important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home.”

    Last year, 74 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird, horse, and/or human case. For the 2018 season, IDPH reported 176 human cases (although human cases are underreported), including 17 deaths....

  • 14th Aug, 2019

    Protect yourself from tick bites

    SPRINGFIELD– Last summer, a Kankakee County resident tested positive for Heartland virus, the first case reported in Illinois. In response to this human case, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) collaborated with the Illinois Natural History Survey Medical Entomology Laboratory (INHS MEL) and Kankakee County Health Department to conduct the first environmental health investigation to a novel tickborne disease case. Ticks were collected from the area and sent to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Heartland virus testing. Heartland virus was detected in Lone Star ticks collected from Kankakee County.

    “Bites from Ticks can result in multiple types of infections, which can cause serious illness in some people,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “It is...

  • 9th Aug, 2019

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of six young people experiencing severe breathing problems after vaping, and is investigating five more individuals.  These individuals experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.  Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. 
     
    “IDPH is working with local health departments and hospitals to investigate reported cases of hospitalized individuals with unexplained respiratory illness and a history of vaping,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “The short- and long-term effects of vaping are still being researched, but these recent hospitalizations have shown that there is the potential for immediate health consequences.”
     
    IDPH is also working with local...

  • 5th Aug, 2019
    You have the power to prevent disease

    SPRINGFIELD – It is time to get kids ready for #VaxToSchool. As the upcoming school year quickly approaches and you start on your back-to-school plans, make sure your kids are up-to-date on their required vaccinations.  Use the hashtag #VaxToSchool on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to encourage others to do the same.

    “We are currently seeing the greatest number of measles cases reported in the United States since 1992, and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “This record number of cases is a reminder of the importance of continued vaccination.  Help kids stay healthy as they head #VaxToSchool and make sure they are protected from 14 vaccine preventable diseases.”

    The immunization...

  • 2nd Aug, 2019

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local health departments to investigate the hospitalization of three young people who experienced severe breathing problems after vaping.  Today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 11 confirmed and seven suspected cases of severe pulmonary disease among adolescents, some of whom had to be intubated, who reported vaping.  These identified individuals experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.  Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.  

    “Vaping among teens has increased dramatically over the last several years,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While the short- and long-term effects of vaping are still being researched, these recent hospitalizations heighten the need for parents talk with their teens about...