BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Unlike other areas such as Dallas and some
parts of Oklahoma, Western New York has seen only one case of West
Nile virus, and the patient who was hospitalized with symptoms has
since been released.
But Richard Lee, MD, professor of medicine at the University at
Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, says it's too
early to assume that we won't see a spike in cases, even though we
are now into late summer.
"August and September are ideal times to see an increase in West
Nile virus because that's when mosquitoes are at full strength. I
would expect to see more cases in the region," says Lee.
"I think the high incidence of West Nile in Texas is a regional
phenomenon related to extraordinary heat and a lot of bad water
management," he says.
Lee notes that there is plenty that can be done to reduce
mosquito-breeding and the incidence of West Nile virus.
"People should empty flower pots of water that hasn't been
absorbed, pick up all trash because trash provides a place for
water to collect, properly dispose of tires and exercise caution
around other people's gardens, especially if there are puddles
nearby," he says.
"People should be especially careful on golf courses where grass
is regularly watered to keep it looking green and where there are
also ponds," he adds.
What would be particularly worrisome to Lee? "I would get really
worried if there began to be a lot of reports of dead birds in the
area because birds are the principal reservoir for West Nile
virus," he says, noting that crows and bluebirds are particularly