Westchester County has learned of its first human case of West Nile Virus this year, which was confirmed in a 72-year-old Irvington resident who had been hospitalized and is now recovering at home.
The Westchester County Department of Health found no signs of mosquito breeding activity around the resident’s home but treated surrounding catch basins with larvicide, said Westchester County officials.
“This first case of West Nile Virus serves to remind all of us to take precautions against mosquito bites by removing standing water from our property after it rains and using repellents when we spend time outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active,” said Dr. Sherlita Amler, Commissioner of Health.
The Health Department has been working to prepare residents for the mosquito season by offering information on flyers, through social media and on its website. They have also given away 400 pounds of free fathead minnows to residents with ponds to reduce the mosquito population, the department said.
The department also traps and tests mosquitoes to track the presence of mosquito-borne viruses in the county. So far this year, West Nile Virus was identified in three batches of local mosquitoes out of 199 batches tested to date.
Last year, West Nile Virus was identified in five local mosquito batches out of 380 submitted for testing and three people were diagnosed with the virus.
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, health officials said.
To learn more, visit the department's website here. Officials also ask that residents report large areas of standing water on public property to the Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000.
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