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West River Confronts West Nile
by Paul Bass | Sep 1, 2006 10:07 am
Posted to: Health
Terrence was hanging out on his porch on George Street. After a city neighborhood worker stopped by to hand him information about the dangers of the West Nile virus, which recently killed a woman in his neighborhood, he said he plans to spend more time indoors.
p(clear). The 48 year-old Guyana native (he preferred not to give his last name) was one of many people in the West River neighborhood to receive an unannounced visit Thursday from the Liveable Cities Initiative’s (LCI) neighborhood specialists. The specialists, including Tracy Claxton (pictured), handed out flyers about the mosquito-borne disease. West Nile has struck early this year; three cases have already been reported within two weeks, all in parts of New Haven and West Haven close to the West River. An elderly West River woman died from it. So West River was stop one of a planned citywide neighborhood campaign to urge people to remove stagnant water (which attracts mosquitoes) from used tires and wading pools, to use bug spray, and to stay inside as much as possible at dusk and dawn. Click here to read the city’s flyer.
p(clear). The 2006 West Nile Fall Tour began at the Berger Apartments on Derby Avenue, where many seniors live. Lucille Lee was out front in her wheelchair enjoying the air. She hadn’t heard about the West Nile scare. “That insect repellent—I can’t use it,” she said. “It made me itch. Itch itch itch itch itch itch.”
p(clear). Lee, who’s 85, showed a spot on her hand where bug bites made her itch, too. She asked how to know if she comes down with West Nile. The symptoms, according to city health chief William Quinn: fever, nausea, heachaches, then stiff neck, aches, and trouble walking.
p(clear). Vincent Powell, 59, who cleans patients’ rooms at Yale-New Haven, got the message. “You have to worry. Human beings are coming down with it,” he said. So he said he’ll go outside at night or early morning only to commute to and from work. He rarely goes out otherwise at those times, anyway, he said.
p(clear). This woman took the LCI leaflet with her on the bus to her job at Hamden’s Arden Court. She planned to post it for the old folks there.
p(clear). Rick Solevo took enough flyers from LCI’s Carlos Eyzaguirre to post by on the bulletin boards by the elevators on each of the seven floors of the Mutual Housing-managed apartment complex at 730 George St. Solevo is the building’s super.
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