Health department confirms 1st human case of West Nile Virus this year, patient in serious condition

NEW YORK — A person with West Nile virus is in serious condition at Manhattan Hospital; the patient is the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus this year.

Cases of West Nile virus occur each year, but the Health Department is reminding New Yorkers to reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Mosquito surveillance detected a record number of insects carrying the virus in New York City this year.

“The findings from our mosquito surveillance are concerning and serve as a reminder for all New Yorkers that they can take simple precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “We will not be able to completely eradicate West Nile virus from the mosquito population, but we can reduce human transmission and save lives.”

She suggests New Yorkers wear mosquito repellent and cover their arms and legs when outdoors. People should also get rid of standing water and install window screens.

The highest rate of mosquitoes found carrying West Nile virus is on Staten Island, but the Health Department has found them in every borough.

Three to 47 New Yorkers are infected with West nile virus each year. West Nile virus can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases. About 60 people have died due to infection since the virus was first detected in New York.

If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away. For more information about West Nile virus, and how to avoid it, visit nyc.gov/health/wnv or call 311.