A Great Big City

Mosquitos infected with West Nile virus detected in New York City

For the first time this season, the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitos collected from Eltingville, Staten Island. The virus has been seen in New York City before, and, in fact, the first outbreak in the United States is believed to have started in Queens in 1999 with an infected bird or mosquito.

Avoiding exposure to West Nile

West Nile has the potential to be a serious illness, and you should be on the lookout for symptoms and take precautions to avoid exposure. The CDC has a set of guidelines concerning how to avoid West Nile virus: It is predominately spread via mosquito bites, so you should focus on keeping mosquitos out of your living space and wearing insect repellent when you are outdoors.

  • Mild infections sometimes improve on their own, but if you have prolonged high fever, headache, neck stiffness, or disorientation, be sure to contact a medical professional.
  • Elderly individuals or those with weakened immune systems are more at risk, and should be monitored closely.
  • Those who work long hours outdoors are more susceptible to mosquito bites and should always be sure to wear insect repellent and consider wearing clothing that covers the skin.

Read the CDC’s West Nile Fact Sheet for more information and a complete list of precautions

Learn More

Official notice from the NYC Health Department

The CDC’s map of 2011 West Nile virus activity

First NYC-area death attributed to West Nile virus

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