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Hall of Fame honors ‘Nile’ doc

In the summer of 1999, Dr. Deborah Asnis, an infectious diseases specialist from Brighton Beach, alerted local health officials of the existence of West Nile Encephalitis in New York City. She had detected a “cluster” of patients with unusual and severe symptoms that were potentially deadly.

Once confirmed to be West Nile Virus, health authorities took aggressive action to inform the public and prevent the spread of the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes; up to then this virus was never seen in the United States or the Western Hemisphere. Dr. Asnis’ quick actions helped save the lives of many New Yorkers, who would have otherwise not taken proper precautions against West Nile.

For helping to protect citizens of the City, the New York City Hall of Fame inducted Dr. Asnis into its first class of honorees. Her photo and a brief bio are on the website along with the other inductees. The purpose of the NYC Hall of Fame is to honor remarkable New Yorkers who have contributed to the betterment of the city and will, in turn, serve as role models for our children.

Dr. Asnis has published over 40 articles throughout her career. She has received innumerable awards for her accomplishments, including an award at the Commissioner’s breakfast at the New York City Department of Health in May 2000, named in the Castle Connolly Guide, “How to Find the Best Doctors: New York Metro Area” (2001-2007) and in “Best Doctors in New York” in New York Magazine (2001).

Dr. Asnis was named the associate director of Infectious Diseases at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in 1987 and the Director in 1996. She continues to be active in the medical residency program as a teacher and has an active clinical practice.

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