EXCLUSIVE – Second east Bronx West Nile case

A second case of West Nile Virus has been reported in the east Bronx in about a month – and there may be more.

In the latest case, a 72-year-old woman Spencer Estate woman who suffers from Myasthenia Gravis – a neurological condition – is now in intensive care at Westchester Square Medical Center after contracting West Nile Virus either in a Robertson Place yard in Spencer Estate or through a walk in Pelham Bay Park almost a month ago, said her son Simon Kocovic.

Marija Kocovic, 72, did not leave the east Bronx area just prior to being infected with the virus, which had been reported in the city Department of Health in the middle of September, her son said. She is now on a respirator, and she was diagnosed after blood work and two spinal taps, he said.

“There has always been a problem with mosquitoes in Country Club and Pelham Bay, Pelham Bay Park,” said Simon Kocovic, speaking for his mother. “Either my mom did get it in my backyard, because she lives with me, or she got walking through Pelham Bay Park because that is the only place she has gone.”

Simon Kocovic said that while his mom was able to fight off the West Nile Virus, the Myasthenia Gravis had been under control until she was diagnosed with the virus.

“It is a nightmare – it really is,” he said.

In another case, a Waterbury-LaSalle man, Anthony Guglielmo, 86, of Zulette Avenue contracted West Nile about a month ago, according to his niece Mary Jane Musano.

Musano believes that if there is an outbreak of West Nile virus that have affected the communities near Pelham Bay Park and Throggs Neck, that the residents should be notified.

Official records for the city Department of Health, which declined to release numbers other than borough wide infections or any other information citing medical confidentiality issues, show that there were a total of four reported human cases of West Nile Virus cases in the entire Bronx this year, up from three reported human cases last week. But health officials refuse to say if that includes the case from Spencer Estate.

In a conversation with a city DOH official, the official cited spraying to prevent West Nile Virus in Waterbury-LaSalle or Pelham Bay, but not in Spencer Estate or Country Club, according to Kocovic. Information on the city DOH website show spraying in August in zip codes 10475 and 10464, and in Pelham Bay Park, but not in these communities.

“What does it take to spray where you are supposed to spray instead of closing your eyes?” said Simon Kocovic.

“[The city] does not want to cause a panic, but all they are going to do is endanger people’s lives,” he said.

“It is just horrible, and I just don’t want to see people go through this,” Musano added, saying that her uncle is now off a respirator, but her aunt had a probable heart attack from the stress.

For tips on how to prevent West Nile Virus, go to www.bxtimes.com/stories/2012/41/41_west_2012_10_11_bx.html

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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