2004-07-09 / Community

DOH Announces Arrival Of West Nile Season

DOH Announces Arrival Of West Nile Season

The season’s first sign of West Nile virus (WNV) in New York City was announced recently by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).

A mosquito pool collected form the Shore Acres neighborhood on Staten Island was confirmed positive for (WNV), and as a result (DOHMH) has increased mosquito surveillance in surrounding areas. With the official arrival of West Nile virus (DOHMH) Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH reminded New Yorkers particularly those over the age of 50 to be watchful about reducing mosquito-breeding sites around the home, and taking personal precautions to reduce mosquito bites.

Commissioner Frieden said "As the summer goes on, people over the age of 50 and especially those over the age of 65 should be particularly careful to guard against mosquito bites, as they are more likely to develop severe complications if infected with West Nile virus. He also states "Although we typically do not see people being infected with the virus until later in the summer, it is never too early for people to begin to take simple measures to reduce mosquito breeding and to prevent mosquito bites.

To prevent the spread of (WNV), (DOHMH) monitors birds and adult mosquitoes for the presence of (WNV) and works closely with the medical community to monitor human illness.

The NYC health department has issued recommendations to reduce exposure to mosquitoes around your home. Some of the recommendations include the elimination of any standing water that collects on your property. Remove discarded tires on your property and clean and chlorine swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.

The HYC health department has also issued personal precautions to prevent (WNV). The health department recommends if outside during the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long sleeved shirts and socks.

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