People react to news of West Nile virus case
Posted at: 09/11/2012 11:27 PM
| Updated at: 09/11/2012 11:43 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
West Nile Virus has made a comeback across the nation, and now Monroe County has its first confirmed human case in 3 years. Some people say it will force them indoors even before summer ends.
The Monroe County Health Department says cover up and use insect repellent. They say this is the time of year when the risk of getting the West Nile virus is at its highest.
The Monroe County case involved a middle-age person who got the virus two weeks ago. The health department is describing that person’s symptoms as mild, but say the West Nile virus can cause serious illness for those 50 and older.
News10NBC has learned the person with West Nile virus has recovered, but the health department says we could see additional cases and advises people to take precautions. Its disconcerting news for some of the people News10NBC spoke with on Tuesday night.
The Erie Canal Path can be a busy place this time of year. It’s where you will often find Ryan Crowder and his fiance' Sarah Sinopoli. But news of a confirmed case of West Nile Virus could put an end to their favorite past time.
Sarah Sinopoli says, “It does kind of worry me because I don’t really know about it.”
She continues, “We hear about it when summer comes and mosquitoes, but we don't really hear about it happening with people getting sick...once one person gets sick everybody thinks they're going to get sick.”
The health department is advising people to limit their time outdoors at dawn and at dusk, especially around water. This is when and where mosquitoes are most active.
Monroe County Health Department spokesperson John Ricci says this is a reminder that the West Nile virus is alive and well, and while this is the first confirmed human case in the county in 3 years, he says the virus has hit hard across the nation and people should take precautions.
John Ricci says, “It's actually turned out to be one of the worst years for West Nile that we've had since 1999.”
He continues, “You generally can tell if mosquito’s are biting and flying about...if you see that's the case, take some steps to prevent being bitten.”
You can protect yourself either by using an insect repellent containing deet or covering up and exposing as little skin as possible. That’s what Crowder would prefer to do, rather than avoid the activities he loves.
Ryan Crowder says, “Yeah definitely take precautions around the place, around the water at night, this time of day.”
Symptoms of West Nile can range from none at all, to flu like symptoms, to meningitis, and in sever cases it can even cause death.
Pittsford resident Nick Turner walks the canal path with his dog almost daily… it will change his plans.
He says, “If we know it’s in this area...then it will definitely be a good idea to go in once they start biting.”
When asked what he and his dog will do, he said, “Just walk here earlier.”
The health department wants you to be on guard, but not to panic. Ricci says according to the centers for disease control, less than one percent of mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus. Most people who are infected will have no symptoms at all.
If you think you have been exposed to the West Nile virus and you have a high fever or persistent headache, you should call your doctor.