The Albany County Health Department has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in the area this year.
An adult with the illness is doing well, the department reported today.
“Due to general privacy policies, no further information about the case will be released,” county spokeswoman Mary Rozak said in a news release.
The health department suspects a considerable number of West Nile cases go unreported because of the number of people with mild or no symptoms. Many people who contract the virus do not experience any type of illness, and an estimated 80 percent of people infected show no symptoms at all.
Up to 20 percent of people who become infected will develop mild systems, such as fever, headache or body aches. West Nile occasionally causes serious illness and death, though usually among older adults.
Due to the unusually warm weather, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported human cases have increased by 40 percent across the country this year.
“As WNV illness can be prevented, county health officials encourage residents to protect themselves when outdoors by using an effective mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long sleeves, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquito activity is greatest,” said Rozak.
For more information about the virus, visit the state Health Department website at www.health.ny.gov.