- 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
- Spray both skin and clothing with the repellent
- 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.