Rockland County officials announced recently that for the first time this season, an individual had tested positive for West Nile Virus.

It was stated that the individual who tested positive was over the age of 50 and was a resident of Ramapo.

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What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus is an illness that some people can become infected with after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Whatever the insect bites, it has a chance to pass the virus on to a new host. The CDC states that the virus can NOT be spread through coughing, sneezing or physical touch

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

West Nile Virus Symptoms

Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, stiffness of the neck, disorientation as well as many other symptoms. It should be noted that many people who are bitten by an infected mosquito don't experience any symptoms at all. However, in extreme cases, it is possible that West Nile Virus can cause encephalitis or meningitis that if not treated properly, could permanently affect one's central nervous system.

Obviously, without proper treatment, it is also possible to die from West Nile Virus. Though extreme cases are rare, individuals over the age of 60 are at greater risk of contracting a severe case of the virus. In addition, individuals with preexisting conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc are also at great risk.


West Nile Virus Treatment

Treatment for West Nile Virus isn't anything particular. General rest and over the counter painkillers can be used to help fight the virus. No vaccine is required in order to fight the virus either. In severe cases, some individuals may need to be hospitalized for proper treatment and observation. It is suggested that individuals seek out advice from their medical professionals if they believe they have contracted the virus. 

Jacob Wackerhausen

Rockland Response

Rockland County officials have advised residents to be cautious this time of year. Specifically, they request that residents...

   continue to check their property and get rid of standing water around their properties where mosquitoes breed

Dr.  Patricia Schnabel Ruppert the County Health Commissioner gave further information regarding mosquitos' and safety. Some things as simple as using insect repellant may be effective in keeping the bugs away, as well as stating that some mosquitos are most active between dusk and dawn. It was further stated that the vast majority of mosquitos themselves do not test positive for the virus so again, the chances of contracting the virus let alone a serious case is low.

Essentially what this comes down to is that West Nile Virus sounds scary, especially on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down the entire world, however, its chances of impacting your life are incredibly slim. It's merely something to be mindful. As stated by Rockland County officials and the CDC, the best thing you can do if you believe you've become infected with the virus is to consult your medical professional.

How to protect yourself against West Nile, other mosquite-borne diseases

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, residents should take the following steps to help prevent diseases transmitted by the bite of a mosquito.

Everything You Need to Know About the West Nile Virus in CT

Now that we know there are at least 8 Connecticut communities with mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, it's important to stay educated on the matter. This is everything you need to know about West Nile Virus in CT. 

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