New York City Free of West Nile Virus

New York City Health Commissioner Neal L. Cohen, M.D. has announced that the blood sample from the chicken being monitored by the Health Department in Corona, Queens (see News & Notes for the week of June 16), has not been confirmed for the West Nile Virus by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention or the National Veterinary Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Cohen said: "These follow up test results provide us with some relief that at this time we do not have evidence of the West Nile virus in New York City. We would like to thank all of our partners at Cornell University, the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the National Veterinary Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their efforts. We are pleased to have the nation's top scientific experts working with the City and providing us with vital information and diagnostic testing to guide our West Nile Virus prevention efforts."

Preliminary test results announced Thursday alerted New Yorkers to the possible return of the West Nile virus.

While the rapid screening test conducted by Cornell University is sensitive to West Nile virus, it is recognized that the test can occasionally render false positives. The test is designed to be used in conjunction with subsequent confirmatory testing. The more precise tests conducted by the two national reference laboratories, which determined a negative finding for West Nile virus, are conclusive.

For information on West Nile virus, New Yorkers may call the DOH's information line at 877/WNV-4NYC (877/968-4692) or visit

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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