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First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Reported In Westchester

Westchester County reported its first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in 2015 on Friday Photo Credit: File photo
Westchester County reported its first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in 2015 on Friday. Photo Credit: File photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The first human case of West Nile Virus in Westchester this year has been confirmed, county Health Department officials said on Friday.

A 72-year-old Yonkers resident was hospitalized, and is now recovering at home.

County health officials searched for signs of mosquito breeding activity around the resident’s home and found no visible mosquito breeding areas or conditions that would support mosquito activity.

“This first case of West Nile Virus should serve as a reminder to residents to take precautions against mosquito bites by removing standing water from their property after it rains and using repellents if they spend time outdoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active,” Dr. Sherlita Amler, county health commissioner, said in a statement.

So far this year, 15 positive mosquito batches were identified in Westchester, starting July 30.

West Nile Virus infection most often causes a mild or moderate flu-like illness, but can be more serious particularly for people 60 and older, and those with other health complications. Two to four residents were diagnosed with West Nile Virus in each of the past five years; all recovered.

To help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds where you live and to reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

-- Avoid the outdoors in the late afternoon and early evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding, and use insect repellents when outdoors during these times.

-- Wear protective clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks, when outdoors, especially in areas where mosquitoes are active and feeding.

-- Check and remove standing water from anything on your property that catches it.

-- Turn over plastic wading pools, buckets and wheelbarrows when not in use.

-- Change water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.

-- Keep storm drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris.

Residents who notice large areas of standing water on public property are asked to call the county Department of Health at (914) 813-5000.

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