GENESEO — New York State Department of Health officials have confirmed the first human case of mosquito-borne West Nile virus in Livingston County this season. The Livingston County Department of Health is working closely with the State Department of Health and the individual.

West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Even though the chances of catching this virus are slim, it is important to take precautions. Although people of all ages can become infected with West Nile Virus, those who are at highest risk for severe illness from the virus include people with compromised immune systems and the elderly. This virus can cause a serious life altering disease or even death. The following guidelines are recommended to reduce the risk of contacting West Nile Virus:

· Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or PMD to exposed skin, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If using on small children, do not apply to the face, hands or open sores. Do not apply to infants; use mosquito netting instead.

· If possible, wear long sleeves and long pants. Mosquitoes can bite through thin layers of clothing so using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucolyptus, lowers the risk of being bitten by a mosquito.

· Get rid of standing water. Even the smallest amounts can be enough for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Look around at such things as buckets, cans, flowerpots and other items that may retain water. Empty and refill birdbaths once or twice a week.

· Install or repair window and door screens so mosquitoes cannot get into the house.

· Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. Minimize outdoor activities during this time, if possible.

For any questions or concerns please contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7280, or visit www.livingstoncounty.us/doh.htm