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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY

Port Chester Locals Avoid Mosquitoes, West Nile

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Marilyn Balamaci and Jim Ruddle sat outside drinking coffee near the waterfront Monday evening after a thunderstorm without worrying much about the mosquitoes despite warnings of West Nile Virus.

"It's something we're concerned about," said Balamaci. "But we wanted to sit down and enjoy the cool weather."

The Rye couple usually takes precautions when going outside for extended periods of time during the summer. Balamaci said she just bought bug repellant and uses it when she plays tennis or goes for walks.

West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes have been confirmed in cities and towns in Connecticut and Westchester County.

The disease is most common during August and early September, which is when mosquitoes carrying the highest amounts of the virus are abundant. As the weather cools, mosquitoes die off and the risk of infection decreases.

Minor symptoms include low-grade fever and mild headache. Fewer than 1 percent of the people infected develop life-threatening illnesses, such as West Nile encephalitis or West Nile meningitis that include inflammation of the brain, the Center for Disease Control says.

The CDC says the mild signs and symptoms of West Nile (fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue) generally go away on their own, but severe signs and symptoms — severe headache, disorientation, lack of coordination, convulsions, tremors or sudden weakness -- require immediate attention.

Ruddle doesn't know anyone personally affected by the virus but he said he remembers several years ago when the crows outside his bedroom window stopped waking him up in the morning. Crows are said to be highly susceptible to the virus.

"We were finding dead crows all around," he said.

What are you doing to avoid the mosquitoes?

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