LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — The Lake County Department of Public Health has confirmed its first human case of West Nile virus for 2023.

Health officials said Friday that a Lake County resident in their 60s became ill in early September.

“Nobody likes to get sick, especially from something as little as a mosquito bite,” said Lake County Health Department’s executive director Mark Pfister. “By taking steps to protect ourselves from mosquitoes, we can keep potentially severe illness at bay.”

SEE ALSO: 2 DuPage County residents die from West Nile virus

In 2023, 144 out of 676 — 21% — batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus.

Health officials used this incident to encourage Illinoisians to practice the “4 Ds of Defense”:

  • Drain: Drain those items that collect standing water around your home, yard, or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.
  • Defend: Use an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
  • Dress: Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
  • Dusk to Dawn: Wear repellent outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.

Additional statewide information and data can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s West Nile virus website and the West Nile virus dashboard.