2010-07-16 / Top Stories

West Nile Virus Found IN NYC Mosquitoes

For the first time this season, the Health Department has detected West Nile virus in New York City mosquitoes. The infected mosquitoes were collected from four locations in three boroughs: Old Town in Staten Island, East Williamsburg/Bushwick in Brooklyn and the South Jamaica/Rochdale Village and Auburndale/Pomonok neighborhoods in Queens. So far, no human cases have been detected this season. The Health Department has increased mosquito surveillance and mosquito larvae control efforts in the affected areas.

“West Nile Virus has returned to New York City, but simple precautions can help protect you and your family,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “Be sure to wear mosquito repellent when you’re outdoors, and cover your arms and legs if you’re outside at dawn or dusk. People over 50 should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus.”

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis, a serious inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, and can also cause a more moderate flu-like illness with headache, fever and fatigue. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away.

Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes
• Use an approved insect repellent containing
DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon
eucalyptus (not for children under 3),
or products that contain the active
ingredient IR3535.
• Make sure windows have screens to
keep mosquitoes out of your home,
and repair or replace screens that
have tears or holes.
• Eliminate any standing water from
your property since it provides breeding
sites for mosquitoes, and dispose
of containers that can collect water.
• Make sure roof gutters are clean and
draining properly.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming
pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
Keep them empty and covered when
not in use, and drain water that collects
in pool covers. Standing water
is a violation of the New York City
Health Code. You can report standing
water by calling 311 or visiting
nyc.gov/health/wnv.
For more information about West Nile Virus, visit nyc.gov/health/wnv or call 311.

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