Doctor offers tips on avoiding West Nile virus following detection in Brooklyn, Queens

Avoiding the West Nile virus may be about more than just wearing long pants and sleeves, according to one expert.

News 12 Staff

Aug 17, 2022, 10:50 AM

Updated 667 days ago

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Avoiding the West Nile virus may be about more than just wearing long pants and sleeves, according to one expert.
With two human cases of the virus now confirmed in Brooklyn and Queens, Dr. Jameela Yusuff, of SUNY Downstate, is reminding people that there is no vaccine or specific treatment.
"There’s no vaccine to prevent it so the prevention is going to be controlling the mosquitos and protecting yourself from mosquito bites, there is no formal treatment for West Nile. It’s just supportive therapy,” she said.
"It's been around every year. Usually between August, September, but most people won’t have very significant symptoms, and many people will recover on their own without any intervention."
According to Dr. Yuseff, 80% of people that have gotten the West Nile disease have very minimal symptoms, if any at all.
However, the 20% that contract the disease will experience symptoms such as fever, body aches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Only one out of 100 patients will get serious symptoms.
“We've been having West Nile cases every year, but this year we found much more reservoirs of mosquitos that cause West Nile,” she says.
Yuseff says 80% of people that have gotten the West Nile disease have very minimal symptoms, if any at all.
“It's been around every year, usually between August, September. But most people won't have very significant symptoms and many people will recover on their own without any intervention,” she says.
However, the 20% that contract the disease will experience symptoms, such as fever, nausea, body aches and vomiting. One out of 100 patients will get serious symptoms.
"There's no vaccine to prevent it, so the prevention is going to be controlling the mosquitos and protecting yourself from mosquito bites. There is no formal treatment for West Nile, it's just supportive therapy,” Yuseff says.
To protect yourself, it's recommended you cover up exposed areas by wearing long sleeves and long pants, as well as wearing mosquito repellent and following the instructions on the back of the bottle.
Yusuff says people should also clear their home and surroundings of any stagnant water.
"Mosquitos like to lay their eggs in areas that have pools of water so whether it’s a pool, planters, tires -- anything that collects water, you want to empty those out. If you have a pool, you can cover it with a mesh solid cover or a cover with small holes smaller than an adult mosquito, so they don't get in,” she says.
The Department of Health says it conducted mosquito control spraying across the boroughs of Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn on Wednesday and will continue through Thursday morning.


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