By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Six New Yorkers have been diagnosed with West Nile virus infections: two from Queens, two from Manhattan, and one each from Staten Island and Brooklyn, the first such cases of 2020.


All six were admitted to the hospital; five were discharged and one person has died. The decedent was over 65 years old and age is a well-known risk factor for severe West Nile virus outcomes. This is the first death from West Nile virus infection in New York City since 2018.

The West Nile virus was first detected in New York City 20 years ago. Since 1999, the number of human cases has ranged from three to 47 annually. Ten New Yorkers were diagnosed with West Nile virus during the 2019 season. Of the 434 New Yorkers diagnosed with West Nile virus since 1999, 47 (11%) have died due to their infection.

In individuals over 50 or with a weakened immune system, West Nile virus can cause severe illness, including meningitis and encephalitis, sometimes resulting in permanent or long-term complications such as muscle weakness, fatigue, confusion and depression. Others may experience milder symptoms, which include headache, fever, fatigue, and rash.