Another batch of mosquitoes in Goshen have tested positive for the West Nile virus. As YNN's Venise Toussaint tells us, hundreds of cases have been found throughout the nation.
GOSHEN, N.Y. -- Nearly 700 human West Nile virus cases, including 26 deaths, have been reported throughout the country this year, the highest since the disease was detected back in 1999, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
While there hasn’t been any human cases reported in Orange County this year, local health officials say mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found in Goshen and Greenwood Lake.
“It’s not too bad so far, but we do want people to be aware that there are West Nile positive mosquitoes in the county and take appropriate precautions,” said Orange County Health Commissioner, Dr. Jean Hudson.
The discovery comes as a result of continued monitoring of the county’s mosquito population, West Nile is an infectious disease often spread by mosquitoes and also found in humans and birds.
Health officials say the mosquito count this year is higher than it’s been in several years.
“Every time we have a rain storm, we end up with collections of water and within 24 hours, we’ve got mosquitoes breeding,” Hudson said.
“We have a lot of water here, various rivers and ponding,” said Goshen resident Jerry Boss.
According to the CDC, more than half of the human cases of West Nile found this year were in Texas. Ten people have died and hundreds of others were sickened. Health officials here say there’s only been one human case found here in Orange County and that was in 2010. The three other cases found recently were in mosquitoes.
The health department says residents should minimize outdoor activities after dusk, use mosquito repellent when outdoors, particularly during evening activities, reduce or eliminate standing water and wear shoes, pants and long sleeves when mosquitoes are most active.
"If everybody becomes more alert as to our surroundings and ponding of water, we’ll get over this like we’ve gotten over everything else," Boss said.