SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois health officials say the hot, dry weather is to blame for more mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus this year and an earlier-than-usual first human case of the illness.
The Department of Public Health reported Tuesday that the first confirmed human case of the virus for 2012 is a Cook County woman in her 60s.
Usually, the first human case of the virus is announced in August.
Hot, dry weather means more stagnant water where the type of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus can breed. Rainstorms wash away mosquito larvae along with the stagnant water.
The Cook County Health Department reports the suburban Chicago woman became ill earlier this month.
Health officials suggest wearing insect repellent or staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn.