West Nile virus found in 2 people, record number of mosquitoes in New York City

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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West Nile virus has been detected in two people and a record number of mosquitoes in New York City, according to the NYC Health Department.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- West Nile virus has been detected in two people and a record number of mosquitoes in New York City, according to the NYC Health Department.

The department announced Tuesday that two human cases have been reported, one each in Brooklyn and Queens.

They also say 1,068 West Nile virus-infected mosquito pools have been detected across all five boroughs, the highest number ever recorded. That's compared to 779 virus-positive mosquito pools detected at this time last year.

Mosquitoes infected with the virus are typically present in the city from July through October, with peak activity during August and September.

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"We are in the height of West Nile virus season, but there are things you can do to decrease your risk of being bitten," Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said.

He recommended residents use an EPA registered insect repellent, and wear long sleeves and pants, especially when outside at dusk and dawn.

Residents are also recommended to empty outdoor containers that hold water that mosquitoes could lay eggs in.

A total of 54 cases with four deaths have been reported in the United States so far this year.

Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms at all or develop fever and other symptoms including headache, fever, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.

While the majority of people infected with the virus fully recover, some continue to have problems after infection.

Some people, especially those 60 years and older or with weakened immune systems, can develop a serious or potentially fatal illness of the brain and spinal cord.

If a person has symptoms of West Nile virus, they are urged to contact their health care provider.

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