A mosquito carrying a life-threatening virus sends a New York man to the hospital.

The first human case of West Nile Virus has been discovered in Westchester County in 2021. A 58-year-old resident with multiple underlying medical conditions is hospitalized, the County Health Department announced.

“This first case of West Nile Virus should remind us all to take precautions against mosquito bites by removing standing water from our property, especially after recent heavy rain and flooding, and using repellents when we spend time outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler.

Most West Nile Virus infections are mild with flu-like symptoms occurring. For some, including those over 60 years of age or with health issues, side effects can be more serious. In rare occurrences the virus can be fatal.

In 2020, three people were diagnosed with West Nile Virus, and in 2019, one Westchester County resident had the virus.

Mosquitos are extremely bad this summer after all the rain. The last few weeks have been the worst I've ever seen. You can barely walk from your car to the house without being inundated by them.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito, especially one carrying the West Nile Virus, you're advised to remove any standing water to prevent them from breeding. If you notice large areas of standing water on public property you should report them to your local County Department of Health.

Mosquito Precautions

  • Dispose of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers in which water collects.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors. Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use and change the water in birdbaths twice a week.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs, and drain water from pool covers.
  • Avoid the outdoors in the late afternoon and early evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding, or use insect repellents then and follow the label instructions.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks when outdoors, especially in areas where mosquitoes are active and feeding.
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