First 2020 Westchester West Nile Case, Death Reported

Westchester County has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus this year, which has resulted in the person's death.

Mosquitoes carry the deadly West Nile virus.
Mosquitoes carry the deadly West Nile virus. Photo Credit: File

The victim was a 76-year-old Yonkers resident with significant underlying medical conditions who died on Saturday, Aug. 22, the Westchester County Health Department reported on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

“We are saddened to learn that the first resident to be diagnosed with West Nile Virus this year has died.," said Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. "The overwhelming majority of people who get the virus do recover, and we generally have only a few cases each year. 

"This should remind all of us to take precautions against mosquito bites by removing standing water from our property after it rains, and use repellents when we spend time outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.”

The Westchester County Department of Health said it removed standing water from many containers around the resident’s home that held mosquito larvae, evaluated nearby catch basins in the area and treated those with larvicide as needed.

West Nile Virus infection most often causes a mild or moderate flu-like illness, with fever, headache, body aches and joint pain. 

It can be more serious particularly for people 60 and older, and those with other health complications. 

Last year, one Westchester County resident was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. 

In 2018, four people in the county had the virus, and in 2017, three Westchester residents had West Nile.

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