“We are in the height of the West Nile virus season, but there are things we can do to reduce the risk of being bitten,” Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said in a statement.
Because the virus is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, Vasan suggested using an EPA-registered repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants. outdoor container.
“By taking these actions during WNV season, you can help keep you and your loved ones safe,” added Vasan.
New Evidence of West Nile Virus Brain Damage, Scientists Say
West Nile virus was first identified in New York City over 20 years ago. Culex pipiens Species containing mosquitoes Culex pipiens When Culex pipiens, According to information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Health.
According to the health department, 1,068 positive mosquito pools were detected in the city this year, compared with 779 in the same period last year.
“In the same period in 2021, an average of 77 mosquitoes were caught by each trap per day, compared to 75 mosquitoes per trap per day in the same period in 2021. When a large number of mosquitoes are tested in one pooled sample or “pool”. Health officials explained in a statement.
Unlike many other diseases, West Nile virus is not spread by droplets or skin-to-skin contact, but by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who get the disease experience no symptoms, but some develop fever, headache, body aches, and intestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Most patients make a full recovery, but it can take weeks or months, according to the CDC.
In rare but serious cases, a few people can develop complications such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord), according to the CDC. , which can be fatal.
He was “perfectly healthy” before the mosquito bite. Nine days later he was brain dead.
Even more rare, another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), was recently discovered in mosquitoes in upstate New York. Infected mosquito pools have been found in Madison and Oswego counties, but surveillance data indicate that no human cases have been reported. Viruses that cause inflammation in the brain can be serious, according to the CDC. About 30% of those infected die, and many who survive suffer long-term neurological complications.
There are no vaccines to prevent West Nile virus or Eastern equine encephalitis, and no specific antiviral drugs to treat them. Patients with these mosquito-borne illnesses receive supportive care and treatment for potential complications.
People who experience symptoms are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.