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West Nile virus confirmed in NY mosquito pool

ALBANY -- Health officials confirm that West Nile virus has been detected in a mosquito pool in Rockland County.

This is the first positive test for West Nile in the state in 2014. Last year, 589 mosquito pools tested positive in the state, with 33 reported human cases, but no deaths. The year before, 107 human cases of the virus were reported, resulting in 9 deaths.

No human cases have been reported this year, but Department of Health officials are urging all New Yorkers to take protective measures to avoid mosquito bites. "A few basic actions can greatly reduce the risk of getting mosquito bites that could cause serious illness such as West Nile virus," says New York State's Acting Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker.

DOH recommends people take measures like wearing shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time. They also say people should apply mosquito repellent and remove standing water from their property.