West Nile virus detected in 2 people in NYC amid surge in infected mosquitoes
The West Nile virus has been detected in two people in New York City, local health authorities said Tuesday.
Why it matters: The city's health department is warning residents to be alert and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites amid a record number of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes across all five boroughs.
Details: West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes are typically present in the city from July through October, with peak activity in August and September.
- The virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Most people who are infected have no symptoms.
- Roughly 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms such as headaches and extreme fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The majority of people who are infected fully recover from the illness, but about 1 in 150, especially those 60 and older or those with weakened immune systems, can develop a potentially fatal illness called the West Nile neuroinvasive disease, which can cause comas and muscle weakness.
- The two reported human cases were located in Brooklyn and Queens, city officials said. A total of 54 cases and four deaths have been reported in the U.S. this year.
The big picture: The virus was first detected in New York City over 20 years ago.