A second human case of West Nile Virus has been diagnosed in an elderly Onondaga County resident who is hospitalized.
Four cases of possible West Nile virus have been discovered in Shawnee Co.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile is most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. She said less than 1 percent of infected people will develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis or meningitis. Most people infected with the virus to not have symptoms. The health department says its hard to determine where the Erie County resident acquired West Nile. People with mild cases may have a fever, headache, body ache, skin rash or swollen glands. People older than 60 years old or with certain underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk for severe disease.
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The risk of human exposure to West Nile is highest in the late summer and early fall, when mosquitoes are active. "By taking a few simple steps, you can reduce your risk of mosquito bites and possibly contracting a mosquito-borne disease like WNV", said Dr. Burstein.
The health department's Vector Control staff routinely inspects properties with stagnant swimming pools, as well as properties containing standing water in discarded tires, pots, and similar items, that can act as mosquito breeding grounds.
When a property is in violation, ECDOH works to remedy the situation in the long term with the property owner, as well as apply larvacide (mosquito larvae growth inhibitor) to temporarily protect the public and surrounding neighborhoods in the short term.
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