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County confirms first ever West Nile case

An older individual has come down with the only case of the West Nile Virus ever reported in Albany County, according to county officials.

The person was over 60 and is now resting at home after a short hospitalization. No further information was released about the person or the incident—including where the person lives or where the disease was contracted — with county officials citing privacy policies.

“I don't know if it actually matters so much, because there's no way of knowing where the person actually contracted the illness,” said Dr. Christine Compton, a public health physician in the Albany County Department of Public Health when asked about the person's residence.

Many Capital District residents and the state Department of Health have recently noticed an uptick in the presence of mosquitoes, which carry the potentially deadly virus. Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. James Crucetti said this case can probably be tied to that population increase, which is a result of widespread standing waters following recent tropical storms and flooding.

“This first human case of West Nile Virus illness in Albany County appears to be a direct consequence of the unprecedented floods caused by the recent hurricane and tropical storm,” Crucetti said in a statement.

The mosquito population generally drops along with the temperature and ceases to be a worry for most New Yorkers. With the change in conditions, however, Capital District residents are being advised to take extra precautions, especially in the outdoors.

The best deterrent is an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (DEET and oil of lemon eucalyptus shouldn't be used on children under three). Long sleeves and pants should also be worn in the outdoors.

Residents are also advised to limit standing water around their properties by emptying out or disposing of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers.

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