Two People Infected With West Nile Virus As Mosquitos Plague New York City


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Two people in New York City have been found to have contracted the West Nile virus (WNV), the New York City Health Department reported Tuesday.

The two diagnoses come as record numbers of West Nile virus-infected mosquitos have plagued the city’s five boroughs, the NY Health Department annonuced in a press release. The mosquitos are typically present throughout the city from July to October, with most activity taking place in August and September, the department continued.

One of the cases were reported in Brooklyn, while the other was identified in Queens, the release says. The United States has identified 54 cases of WNV, with four deaths stemming from its complications, the department continued.

Approximately 1,068 WNV-positive mosquito pools have been identified this year, the highest on record, compared to 779 positive pools found during the same period last year, the department reported.

“We are in the height of West Nile virus season, but there are things you can do to decrease your risk of being bitten,” NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in the press release. “Use an EPA registered insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, especially when outside at dusk and dawn when the types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active. In addition, you can stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water by emptying outdoor containers that hold water or calling 311 if you see standing water that you cannot empty.”

Eight out of ten people who contract WNV do not develop any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who do develop symptoms typically experience fever, headaches, body and joint aches, vomiting and diarrhea, the CDC noted. Roughly one in 150 people diagnosed with WNV can develop a serious illness that targets the central nervous system, causing encephalitis or meningitis, the CDC reported.

Most domestic animals cannot contract the virus, while no documented cases of person-to-person or animal-to-person transmission have been reported, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture reported. (RELATED: Polio Is Circulating Through New York’s Sewage System, Infecting The Unvaccinated)