Another New Yorker should be concerned about … NYC Health Department issues a warning after mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus are detected in the city
- New York City discovered its first cases of West Nile virus this year after infected Culex mosquitoes were discovered on Staten Island and in the Bronx
- The health department said it has already carried larvicides from a helicopter over wetlands in Staten Island, Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn
- The plan is to apply larvidcide in catch basins, swamps and other stagnant water areas so they can kill larvae before the mosquitoes bite
- West Nile virus is a neuro-invasive disease that can cause mild or moderate febrile illness, but is asymptomatic in 80 percent of cases
- People aged 50 years or older are most at risk, as are those with a weakened immune system
- Remove stagnant water and carry a mosquito repellent to prevent infection
The New York City Health Department issued a warning after discovering Culex mosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus on Staten Island and in the Bronx.
The department announced the infection on Tuesday and reported that there were no human cases yet.
However, they warned city residents to take precautions during the mosquito season, which usually runs from April to September.
The virus’s return, which was first discovered in NYC 21 years ago, comes just after the city had the first 24 hours on Saturday with no coronavirus deaths.
New York City has discovered its first cases of West Nile virus this year, the Department of Health said Tuesday. A Culex mosquito is shown
Culex mosquitoes were discovered on Staten Island (photo), and in the Bronx, authorities have begun to spray larvacid over swamps and other still water areas
Meanwhile, cases across the country are increasing especially in states that have reopened too soon.
West Nile virus is a neuro-invasive disease that can cause mild or moderate febrile illness, but 80 percent of cases as asymptomatic and people 50 years of age or older are at the greatest risk, as are those with weakened immune systems.
People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and people who have had organ transplants, also fall into the high-risk category.
At worst, it can infect the brain and spinal cord and be fatal. Of the 353 people who contracted the virus, 46 (13%) died.
Clear stagnant water, wear long-sleeved clothing, and wear insect repellents to avoid getting bitten this summer
SYMPTOMS OF WEST NILE VIRUS
MILD TO MODERATE
- Body aches and joint pains
On average, three to 47 people get the virus in NYC every year, and authorities have detected between 40 and 1010 mosquitoes every year since 1999.
Although there are about 40 species of mosquitoes in New York, West Nile virus is usually transported in Culex salinarius and Culex pipiens species.
The authorities have installed mosquito traps in the city and there are currently 53.
The health department said it has already carried larvicides from a helicopter over wetlands in Staten Island, Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn.
The plan is to apply larvidcide in catchment basins, swamps and other still water areas so they can kill larvae before the mosquitoes bite.
There is no treatment for West Nile Virus, but generic drugs, such as acetaminophen, can help relieve symptoms.
The health department advises to contact a doctor if symptoms occur.
“New Yorkers can take a few simple measures this summer to protect themselves, including by wearing insect repellents or covering their arms and legs,” said health care commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
“We also encourage everyone to remove stagnant water that can contain mosquitoes or call 311 for stagnant water they cannot control themselves.”
Authorities remind New Yorkers to keep screens in front of windows or repair them if they are torn.
Remove any standing water from your property, discard standing water containers, and keep areas such as pools covered or empty when not in use.
Approved repellents containing picaridin, DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil (not for children under three years old) or the active ingredient IR3535.
New York recently reported a coronavirus death for the first time since the pandemic