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First Human West Nile Case Reported In Westchester

A Larchmont woman has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, the first human case this year in Westchester County.
A Larchmont woman has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, the first human case this year in Westchester County. Photo Credit:

This story has been updated.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The first human case of West Nile Virus this year in Westchester was reported Friday by the Westchester County Department of Health.

An unidentified 71-year-old Larchmont woman has been hospitalized with the virus, the health department said.

The Westchester County Department of Health searched for signs of mosquito breeding activity in the surrounding area. If needed, nearby catch basins will be retreated with larvicide.

“This first case should serve as a reminder to residents to discard any standing water from their property and to use repellents if they spend time outdoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health.

So far this year, three positive mosquito batches were identified in Westchester, starting July 24.

West Nile Virus infection most often causes a mild or moderate flu-like illness, but can be more serious and potentially fatal in people 50 and older, and those with other health complications.

The county health department has provided tips for both eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and to help prevent mosquito bites.

To help eliminate breeding grounds where you live:

· Get rid of all water-holding containers, especially old tires, cans, buckets, drums, wheelbarrows and bottles.

· Cover outdoor trash containers to keep rainwater from accumulating inside.

· Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are left outdoors.

· Clean roof gutters and remove standing water from flat roofs.

· Drain water in birdbaths, plant pots and drip trays twice a week.

· Sweep driveways after it rains so that they are free of puddles.

· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.

To reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

· Use insect repellent if you must spend time outdoors from dusk to dawn. Follow the label instructions. Adults can apply insect repellents with up to 10 percent DEET once a day on infants over 2 months old by applying the product to their own hands and then rubbing it onto their children, avoiding their hands. Products containing DEET should not be used on children under 2 months old. Instead, consider keeping them indoors when mosquitoes are most active, at dusk and dawn.

· Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors in areas and at times where and when mosquitoes are active.

· Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.

· Check your property for buckets, containers, pots, toys and tires that can hold standing water.

· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and hot tubs and drain water that collects on their covers.

· Change the water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.

· Keep storm drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris.

Residents who notice large areas of standing water on public property should report this to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000.

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