NEW YORK CITY, NY – The first human case of the West Nile virus was confirmed to a man from Manhattan, the earliest in a year in which he was discovered by the Ministry of Health since the city was discovered in 1999  Typically, the first confirmed human case of the virus happens between July and October, but the man was hospitalized for brain inflammation caused by West Nil earlier this month, officials said. The patient, who is over 50 years old, has since been discharged.
Apart from the first human case, the Ministry of Health also confirmed that this year they found the first mosquito mass carrying the disease in the city.
"The results of our mosquito control and early West Nile virus case serve as an important reminder that the mosquito season is here and that all New Yorkers should take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites," Dr. Mary Bassett, the commissioner of the Ministry of Health, said in a statement.
The announcement comes just as the city began spraying Larvicide at locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island to reduce mosquito populations.
West Nile virus was first detected in the city in 1
In general, the city sees between three to 47 human cases per year and 40 to 827 mosquito pools that carry the virus.
An infection from the West Nile can cause flu-like symptoms in people with 50+ years of age the greatest risk, said the Department of Health.
While 80 percent of those infected have no symptoms, headache, fever, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue are the most common. Severe cases can lead to changes in mental status, muscle weakness and potentially fatal brain and spinal cord infections.
The Department of Health recommends that New Yorkers wear insect repellent with specific ingredients throughout the summer to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and clearing clean up stagnant water from land, gutters, and ensure that windows have screens.