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Now 36 Confirmed Cases Of West Nile-Like Virus
Oct 3, 1999
NEW YORK (CNN) - Thirty-six people
in New York City have been confirmed to have the West Nile-like virus that
is blamed for the deaths of four of them.
Two other deaths that occurred
outside New York City -- one in Westchester County, New York, and the other
in Toronto -- are blamed on the disease. In the Canada case, a 75-year-old
man died a few days after he visited the New York City borough of Queens,
Canadian officials say. That case has not been confirmed by U.S. officials.
Five people remain hospitalized,
said Sandra Mullin, spokeswoman for the New York City health department.
The 36th case was a 63-year-old Bronx woman who was discharged in August
but whose blood work only now has shown that she had the disease.
CNN interview with Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi
How to protect yourself: Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi, associate professor of internal
medicine at George Washington University, recommends taking these
precautions against encephalitis and other insect-borne diseases:
Wear long, protective clothing
Stay inside at dusk and dawn,
the times when mosquito bites are most likely
Use insect repellents containing
the active ingredient DEET
Spray both skin and clothing with
On Friday night, teams from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Department
of Health went door to door in northern Queens to enroll people in a survey
to determine how widespread the virus is. They
expect to collect 300 blood samples over the next two to three weeks.
Symptoms include headache, fever
and swollen glands. The virus is rarely fatal, but the very old, the very
young and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
Until recently, the virus had never been reported in the Western hemisphere.
Ground spraying, using the pesticide
resmithrin, resumed in the "hot-zone" area of Queens on Friday night;
spraying was to resume in Brooklyn and Manhattan on Saturday night. Traps
in two areas have found some mosquitoes carrying the virus. The disease
is transmitted by mosquitoes that typically feed off birds.
All information posted on this web site is
the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only.
It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor
can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer
of your choice for medical care and advice.