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First West Nile Virus Case Of Year Diagnosed In Westchester

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A Yonkers man has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, the first human case in Westchester this year.

The county Department of Health announced Friday that a 72-year-old man was diagnosed with the virus. He was hospitalized and is recovering at home. 

“This first case of West Nile virus should serve as a reminder to residents to take precautions against mosquito bites by removing standing water from their property after it rains and using repellents if they spend time outdoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active,” county health commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said in a release.

Since July 30, 15 positive mosquito batches have been identified in Westchester. 

People only get West Nile Virus when they’re bitten by a mosquito that has bitten an infected bird, according to the county health department.

The virus may present itself as a mild illness similar to a case of the flu, but can be more serious for people 60 and older. 

Here’s how the health department recommends avoiding mosquito bites:

 Avoid being outdoors in places and during times where and when mosquitoes are active and feeding.

• Use insect repellents with no more than 30 percent DEET, but use them sparingly and with care.

• DEET should only be applied once a day. Repellents with a concentration of 10 percent are effective for about two hours, and those with a concentration of 24 percent offer about five hours of protection. Repellents containing DEET are not recommended for use on children under two months of age. Carefully read and follow the package directions, and wash treated skin when mosquito exposure has ended.

• Select the lowest concentration effective for the amount of time spent outdoors.

• Wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors and at times when mosquitoes are active.

• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

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