Onondaga County reports two human cases of West Nile Virus

Cropped Photo: Katja Schulz / CC BY 2.0 via MGN

The first human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Onondaga County, according to Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta.

County health officials say two people are recovering after being hospitalized earlier this month.

West Nile is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Gupta said mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found in numerous traps throughout the county this summer.

While most people infected with West Nile virus (WNV) do not develop symptoms, 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, officials said. People over 60 years of age and people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk of infection.

“Even though the numbers of mosquitoes are down at this time of the year, we continue to see positive pools of mosquito in our weekly mosquito traps," Gupta said.

Health officials recommend wearing socks, shoes, long pants and long sleeves to protect yourself. Using mosquito repellent is also recommended.

The county also offered tips on how to reduce mosquitoes around your home. They are:

  • Throw away outdoor containers, ceramic pots or containers that hold water Remove all tires from your property
  • Clean clogged rain gutters and make sure they continue to work properly Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use
  • Change water in bird baths at least every four days
  • Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs
  • Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates

For more information, click here, or call the Onondaga County Health Department at 315-435-1649.

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