2006-09-01 / Front Page

West Nile Virus Found Here, City Warns

By Brian Magoolaghan

The city is urging residents in parts of Rockaway and Broad Channel to take precautions against mosquitoes after the West Nile Virus was recently detected during testing in those communities.

A warning issued this week by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says West Nile was present within the last three weeks in three zip codes in this area: 11691 (Far Rockaway), 11692 (Arverne), and 11693 (Rockaway Beach/ Broad Channel).

Residents of those communities - especially those over 50 - are being urged to use insect repellent and wear protective clothing such as loose fitting pants, long-sleeve shirts, and socks when going outside between dusk and dawn. Around the home experts recommend the use of tight-fitting screens in windows and the elimination of standing water.

The virus has turned up in three birds and 19 mosquito pools this year in Queens alone, but there has been only one case of human infection citywide, according to the DOHMH.

West Nile is described as a "potentially serious illness" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in 150 people will develop severe symptoms, including high fever, headache, stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis, according to the CDC website, www.CDC.gov

For more information about reducing mosquito exposure, or to report dead birds or standing water, dial 311 or visit the DOHMH website at www.NYC.gov/health

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