West Nile shows up in NYC, CT

June 20, 2008 2:37:11 PM PDT
The New York City Health Department says the West Nile virus has arrived earlier than usual this season.Mosquito spraying will start next week in non-residential areas of Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens.

The department says it has confirmed West Nile in mosquitoes it tested on Staten Island. No human cases have been detected.

Meanwhile, Connecticut state health officials say a batch of mosquitoes trapped in Stonington has become the first to test positive for West Nile virus this year in Connecticut.

The mosquitoes were caught June 11 and tested by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

The state's chief medical entomologist, Theodore Andreadis, says the finding of virus-infected mosquitoes comes earlier in the year than usual and warrants continued monitoring.

The first mosquitoes to test positive for the virus in 2007 were found in Manchester on June 27.

West Nile virus has been found in birds, animals and mosquitoes in nine other states this year. Human cases have been reported in five states, but none in Connecticut.

How to Reduce Exposure to Mosquitoes:

  • Use an approved mosquito repellent in areas where mosquitoes are active. Repellents containing the active ingredients DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are approved for use by New York State and the U.S. EPA and for protection against biting mosquitoes. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than three. Always read the repellent's label and follow instructions.
  • Make sure that windows have screens, and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes. Eliminate any standing water from your property, and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
  • Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
  • Report dead birds or standing water by calling 311 or visiting NYC.gov.
  • The Health Department's Web site has up-to-date information and maps on mosquito activity.

    For more information:

    National Library of Medicine: West Nile Virus

    KidsHealth: What is West Nile Virus?

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    WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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