Ithaca, N.Y. – County health officials have confirmed the year’s first case of West Nile Virus.

An adult in Tompkins County has the disease, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who are infected will not show any symptoms, and less than one percent will develop a serious neurologic illness, according to health officials.

A news release cited Frank Kruppa, the health department’s public health director.

“Kruppa noted that while a person’s chance of getting sick may be low, it is important to keep in mind that everyone is at risk of becoming infected with WNV and it is important to take precautions,” a news release from the Tompkins County Health Department stated.

Here’s the rest of the press release from county health officials:

“The best way to protect yourself and your family from WNV infection is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes. He urges Tompkins County residents to take the following preventive steps for avoiding mosquito exposure:

– Eliminate standing water which serves as mosquito breeding areas:
– Dispose of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other water holding containers.
– Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
– Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
– Change the water in bird baths twice weekly.
– Repair window and doors screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
– Avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
– Dress with long sleeves and pants and cover as much skin as possible to reduce areas for mosquitoes to bite.
– Use mosquito repellent that contain DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus and always follow product label instructions.

For more information on WNV and how to prevent infection go to: or,

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.