First reported case of human West Nile virus in Onondaga County

The Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Dr. Cynthia B. Morrow, reported the first human case of West Nile in the county this year.

Morrow says the adult was briefly hospitalized but is doing well and is expected to fully recover.

"This first known human case of West Nile virus underscores that West Nile virus is widespread and residents are urged to consistently take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes," says Morrow.

The New York State Health Department says evidence of West Nile virus was found in two locations in Onondaga County. The virus was found in mosquito pools on East Mud Lake Road in Lysander on July 21 and on Midler Avenue in Syracuse on August 1.

Morrow declared that West Nile virus was "widespread" in Onondaga County last week after it was found in five different locations.

Earlier this month, a child in Oswego County was found to have the West Nile virus. Doctor Jiancheng Huang, Director of Public Health for Oswego County, says the county cannot pin point where the child contracted the virus its incubation period. The child is expected to recover.

A new mosquito pool tested positive for the illness in Central Square, Oswego County, earlier this week.

Last year at this time, Oswego County already had 7 mosquito pools testing positive for West Nile virus. The county stepped up its mosquito monitoring program last year after a little girl died of eastern equine encephalitis. So far, officials have not detected EEE among mosquitoes caught in traps throughout the county.

In most people, West Nile virus causes no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems and in rare instances can lead to death.

Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Personal protection is advised during outdoor activities. Personal protection measures include wearing shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outside for a long period of time. Applying a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended to prevent mosquito bites.