Mosquitoes found with West Nile Virus in New York City, officials say

Mosquitoes were detected with West Nile Virus in New York City, health officials warned on Tuesday.

The infected mosquitoes were found in the Bronx and on Staten Island, according to the city’s health department. No human infections were reported.

“New Yorkers can take a few simple steps to protect themselves this summer, including by wearing insect repellent or covering their arms and legs,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, health commissioner, in a news release. “We also encourage everyone to remove any standing water that may harbor mosquitoes or call 311 for standing water they cannot manage themselves.”

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Most people infected with West Nile Virus don’t feel sick. However, one in five infected people does develop a fever and other symptoms such as headache, vomiting or rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated one in 150 infected people develop a severe, potentially fatal, illness affecting the brain and spinal cord.

West Nile virus is transmitted primarily by several Culex species, including Culex salinarius and Culex pipiens, health officials say. (iStock)

Mosquito season in New York City usually lasts from April through September, according to health officials. The department said it is “increasing mosquito surveillance” in the area by installing more mosquito monitoring traps. There are more than 53 surveillance sites throughout the city.

In areas with persistent West Nile Virus activity, officials will try to control the insects with a pesticide spray.

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Officials also said, “The City will continue its efforts to kill mosquito larvae before they can bite by applying larvicide in catch basins, marshland and other areas with standing water.”

The incidents reported yesterday marks the first for this mosquito season. The West Nile Virus was first detected in New York City 21 years ago, according to the health department.