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West Nile virus cases have increased with the mosquito infestation in New York

The mosquito infestation is worse than it has been in recent years, and it’s had a hand in the rising number of cases of West Nile Virus.

As of Tuesday there have been 14 people infected in New York and 479 nationally. 21 people have died.

Senator Chuck Schumer has called on the state to assist with handling the mosquito problem.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Testing has shown mosquitos to be positive for the virus in Orange, Rockland, Erie, Oswego and Onondaga counties. In Oswego County they have also tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis virus.

The first time West Nile Virus was seen in the United States was in 1999, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus originates in birds, and when mosquitos feed on sick birds they contract it.

Fatality from the virus is possible but not common.

80% of infected people don’t have symptoms and the 20% that do have a range of severity in different symptoms like vomiting, headaches, body aches, and fatigue and weakness that could last months.

Statistics show 1 in every 150 infections could result in an illness impacting the nervous system, and of those people 10% will die.

The worst year in recent history was 2019 with 2,647 infections and 167 deaths.

The worst year overall was 2003 with 9,862 infections. The most deaths though were 2012 with 286.

In total since its discovery in the U.S. in 1999 there have been 52,944 infections and 2,463 deaths.

The best ways to stay safe is staying inside from dusk until dawn when the mosquitos are most active, using repellent, and treating clothing with permethrin.