White Plains, NY — West Chester County officials announced Wednesday that they learned of the first human case of West Nile virus this year in a 76-year-old resident with a serious underlying illness who died on August 22. ..
“We are sad to know that the first resident diagnosed with West Nile virus died this year,” said Dr. Shelta Amurer, MD, of the West Chester County Health Commission, in a statement. “The overwhelming majority of people infected with the virus are recovering, and we usually have only a few cases each year.”
She said the health department crew had removed water from many containers around the home of the resident Yonkers, where the mosquito larvae lived. Watersheds near the area were evaluated and larvae were exterminated as needed.
“This removes resident water from our facility, taking care not to bite all of us after it rains, and mosquitoes are most active outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn. You should remember to use insect repellents when you’re doing it, “she said.
West Nile virus infections most often cause illnesses such as mild or moderate flu, with fever, headache, body aches, and arthralgias. It can be more serious, especially for people over the age of 60, and for people with other health complications.
Last year, one of Westchester residents was diagnosed with West Nile. In 2018, four people were infected with the virus, and in 2017, three county residents were infected with the virus.
To reduce the number of mosquitoes near your home, follow these tips:
- Avoid outdoors in the late afternoon and evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding, or use insect repellent as directed on the label.
- Adults can use up to 30% DEET repellent for babies over 2 months of age by applying the product to their hands and rubbing it with their hands, avoiding the hands, eyes and mouth. Products containing DEET should not be used by children under 2 months of age.
- Wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, and socks outdoors, especially where mosquitoes are actively eating.
- Find out if there is any potential for water to collect around your property and pour it or put it away.
- Check and remove children’s toys and playhouse water left outside.
- Check the window screen and replace the torn one.
- Make a hole in the bottom of all recycling containers that are left outdoors.
- When not in use, flip the plastic water pool, bucket, and wheelbarrow over.
- Change the water in the toriyu at least twice a week.
- Keep storm drains and gutters away from leaves and debris.
- Continue chlorination of swimming pools, outdoor spas and hot tubs until winter or drainage is appropriate depending on the season. If it is not chlorinated, drain the water that collects on the cover.
Residents who notice large areas of water in public facilities should report to Westchester County Ministry of Health (914) 813-5000.
Throughout the season, the Westchester County Health Department captures and inspects mosquitoes to track the presence of mosquito-borne viruses. For more information County web page.
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