Human case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Northern Valley

Human case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Northern Valley

The Westchester County Health Department recently announced that the first two batches of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in Westchester have been identified in Yonkers.

"This is should serve as a reminder to all residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and West Nile virus", Health Department spokeswoman Aislyn Tolman-Hill said in the release. Most of the infected birds have been found in the central part of the state. Experts advise that you avoid mosquito bites by using repellents and removing any areas with standing water after it rains.

The bad news is that Louisiana leads the nation in reported cases of West Nile this year with 10 cases.

More information on West Nile virus and Zika virus in humans can be found by calling the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health. Insect repellents containing DEET also serve as protection, said Stump. The most severe type of West Nile Virus is sometimes called "neuroinvasive disease" because it affects a person's nervous system.

Dr. Levin says that those worrying about spooky-sounding viruses such as swine flu and West Nile shouldn't, unless the viruses begin to exhibit certain characteristics.

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Stay in air-conditioned places or rooms with window screens that prevent access by mosquitoes.

 Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property.

Make sure to drill holes at the bottom of containers that are used for recycling.

 Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellant on children, as repellant is not recommended for children under the age of two months. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

But West Nile virus activity fluctuates from year to year and is influenced by local circumstances, including climate and mosquito populations. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes and fix or replace screens with tears or holes.

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