NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The first human case of the West Nile virus for the year in New York City was confirmed Sunday, officials said.
The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said a Brooklyn man was hospitalized with viral meningitis after contracting West Nile. The man, who is over 60, has been treated and released from an area hospital, the department said.
“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 said in a news release. “Wearing mosquito repellent when you are outdoors, and long sleeves and pants in the morning and evening will reduce your risk of infection. 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.”
In addition, several Queens neighborhoods were to be treated on Monday and Tuesday during the nighttime, overnight and morning hours due to rising West Nile mosquito populations, the department said.
The areas to be sprayed include parts of Blissville, Sunnyside, Astoria, Ditmars, Steinway, Woodside, Fresh Meadows, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Briarwood, Forest Hills, Forest Hills Gardens, Glendale, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Middle Village, Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven.
Officials suggest people take the following precautions to protect themselves against mosquitoes:
• Wear insect repellent and cover up outside in the late afternoon and evening. The city advises a repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under 3), or the active ingredient IR3535.
• Check toys and play houses for standing water.
• Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
• Turn over containers, wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
• Change the water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.
• Sweep puddles off driveways after it rains.
• Clear storm drains and gutters.
• Clean and chlorinate pools and hot tubs and drain water off their covers.