2006-09-15 / Community

DOH: West Nile Continues To Be A Problem

The Health Department has announced that there have been ten confirmed cases of West Nile virus so far this year among New Yorkers, including one death, a 64-year old Staten Island man. The Department also warned that West Nile virus continues to pose a risk to New Yorkers this mosquito season. The Staten Island man became ill and died while on a trip to Tennessee, where WNV has been detected this year. Because he spent time in New York City and elsewhere during the two weeks before symptoms appeared, it is not possible to determine whether he was infected in the City or somewhere else. WNV has been detected in all five boroughs during recent weeks, with the greatest activity concentrated in Staten Island.

"With the arrival of the peak of West Nile virus season, we urge people over 50 to take extra protections because they are more susceptible to serious illness if infected by WNV," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. "There are easy ways to protect yourself from the virus. If you're going to be spending time outdoors, use an effective mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves, pants, and socks. Also, check that window and door screens in your home are secure and intact." To help stop the spread of WNV, DOHMH reminds New Yorkers to get rid of standing water on their property, and to report dead birds or standing water by calling 3-1-1.

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