While there has still only been one reported human case of the West Nile virus so far this year in New York City (on Staten Island) you probably don't want to start ripping out the screens from your window to let mosquitoes suck your sweet, sweet blood just yet. As of this month the virus has now been found in all five boroughs, including its first appearance in Manhattan this season.
And though only one instance of the virus has been found so far in Manhattan, there is ample evidence to believe there are more out there. Still, New York County is definitely doing the best when it comes to infected mosquito pools, with the Bronx coming in second (four infected) followed by Brooklyn (eight infected), Queens (41 infected) and then poor diseased Staten Island (93 infected).
Want to do your part to keep West Nile at bay? Eliminating standing water from your property is a good start—it helps prevent mosquitos from multiplying, and could save you a whopping $350 fine from the Health Department. Wearing mosquito repellent when you are outdoors, and long sleeves and pants in the morning and evening won't hurt either. Plus, New Yorkers age 50 and older should be especially careful as they are more likely to become seriously ill, and in rare instances die, if infected.
Since it was first detected in the U.S., 252 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Symptoms include neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, paralysis, and all sorts of terrible things.