Those pesky mosquito bites could potentially be more harmful than you think, as city health officials confirmed Sunday that New York’s first case of West Nile Virus has been reported in a Brooklyn man. Additionally, neighborhoods in Queens with a highly active mosquito population were sprayed last night between 8:30pm and 6am this morning, in an attempt to ward off any of the infection-yielding bugs.
Although West Nile Virus is found pretty much every year in New York City, it doesn’t exactly follow the path of a fast-spreading contagion. The Department of Health maintains that 318 diagnoses have been made since 1999.
Still, the spraying has already commenced in Queens and is scheduled for Staten Island, but nothing has so far been planned for Brooklyn in terms of large-scale preparations.“This first case of West Nile virus disease in New York City provides a vital reminder to protect ourselves against mosquito bites,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in a statement. Basset noted the heightened risk West Nile poses for older people, saying that “New Yorkers age 60 and older or persons with weakened immune systems should be especially careful as they are more likely to become seriously ill, and in rare instances die, if infected.”
Here’s a look at the specific zip codes infected with West Nile in Brooklyn:
The West Nile Scare comes as city health officials recently adopted emergency measures to deal with a Legionnaires Disease outbreak in the Bronx.
Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster
[HT Daily Eagle]