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West Nile virus detected in 2 people in Brooklyn, Queens, among ‘record numbers’ of infected mosquitoes

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West Nile virus was detected in two people across five wards as “record numbers” of mosquitoes were found to be carrying the virus, the city’s health department said on Tuesday.

Human infections include one each in Brooklyn and Queens, with 54 cases nationwide so far this year and four deaths, according to the Department of Health. A steady increase overall, with over 1,000 positive mosquito pools detected, compared to 779 at this time last year. This is the highest number ever.

“We are in the height of West Nile virus season, but there are things we can do to reduce the risk of being bitten,” Health Commissioner Dr. We recommend taking precautions such as using insect repellents. Avoid standing water with the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the Department of Health, an average of 16 people in New York City are diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease each year, with a median age of 62. About 14% of those cases have died, the city said.

Experts have linked steady increases in mosquito activity levels to rising temperatures related to climate change. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of reported illnesses from mosquito, tick, or flea bites more than doubled between 2004 and 2018, with more than 760,000 cases in the United States. reported.

Last September, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a unique effort to increase CDC funding to combat rising mosquito populations and raise public awareness.

“Ask an outdoor restaurant about mosquitoes this summer and you’ll get a very itchy feeling,” Schumer said in a statement last year. A West Nile virus pool continues to expand, and this could continue into the fall due to a very wet summer and climate change.”

People infected with West Nile virus range from showing no symptoms at all to headaches, fevers, muscle aches and extreme fatigue, the city’s health department said. Residents over the age of 60 and those with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of developing more serious illnesses.

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