Saturday, October 21, 2006

West Nile and Zoonotic Diseases

According to the Department of Health, there were 59 cases of West Nile Virus in humans in NYC in 1999.

There have been a total of 137 cases of West Nile Virus in NYC since 1999, with only 11 reported in 2005.

The main reasons for the drop in cases in our area, while it has been spread across the country, are the preventive measures taken. Screening of animals and people, spraying of pesticides. These measures continue despite the significant dropoff in disease incidence.

"Key to DOHMH’s planning efforts is a primary emphasis on prevention."

"Canine waste is a known source of several pernicious zoonotic diseases." - Department of Parks and Recreation

However, when it comes to dogs, known vectors of disease via their bites and feces, DOH is considering allowing them to run around loose. Apparently, 86 people being hurt in parks and 3,956 total bites citywide in 2005 is not considered an epidemic, or even alarming. No action is being taken except one that will put more people at risk.