BUFFALO, NY (WKBW)- The Erie County Department of Health is confirming its first documented case of West Nile Virus infection. Officials say a local man was infected with the mosquito-borne disease earlier this month and has since been released from the hospital. Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention released new information about the number of people with reported illness caused by West Nile virus. The CDC is reporting 1,118 document cases and 41 deaths linked to the disease so far this year.
"These 1,118 cases and 41 deaths identified thus far in 2012 are the highest numbers of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999," said Dr. Lyle Peterson of the CDC. "In comparison, one month ago, there were only 25 people with West Nile virus disease reported to the CDC."
The infected man in Erie County is expected to make a full recovery. As municipalities try and tackle this outbreak, Dr. Scott Zimmerman of the Erie County Department of Health hopes through awareness and avoidance the numbers will remain low in Erie County compared to other areas.
"Some simple steps include using insect repellant, especially ones that contain Deet," added Zimmerman. "Also if you're heading out, wear long sleeves and long pants. Protective type clothing that will prevent mosquito bites. Also avoid areas that you know will be highly concentrated with mosquitoes."