West Nile Virus detected on New York's Staten Island

July 10, 2012

The West Nile Virus has been detected in New York City, officials said Tuesday as they urged residents to take precautions against the mosquito-borne disease.

While no human case has been reported, infected were found on Staten Island, one of the city's five boroughs, the health department said in a statement.

Most cases in humans are benign, with only minor symptoms. But extreme occurrences can result in tremors, fever, coma and a lethal swelling of the known as . It can also cause meningitis.

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, the virus is carried by birds and spread to humans by mosquitoes. It is indigenous to Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia.

" has been detected on Staten Island, but simple precautions can help protect you and your family," said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

As authorities set up additional traps and treat catch basins in the affected areas of New Dorp Beach and Buls Head on Staten Island, residents should wear mosquito repellent when outdoors and cover their arms and legs if outside at dawn and dusk, he said.

"People over the age of 50 should be especially cautious, since they are most likely to develop the serious illness if they contract the virus," he added.

Explore further: Mosquito sample with West Nile virus found in Oakley, Calif.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cellphone data can track infectious diseases

August 20, 2015

Tracking mobile phone data is often associated with privacy issues, but these vast datasets could be the key to understanding how infectious diseases are spread seasonally, according to a study published in the Proceedings ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.