Westchester begins annual West Nile prevention

May 7, 2012 5:39:03 AM PDT
Health officials in Westchester County will begin their annual West Nile virus prevention efforts Monday.

Teams across the county will begin testing and evaluating catch basins along county and municipal roads.

Over the next few months, their goal is to eliminate breeding places for mosquitoes that carry the virus.

The insects normally lay eggs in standing water. Health officials ask that residents make sure there is no standing water near their homes.

Some people experience only mild flu-like symptoms after contracting West Nile virus, but the infection can cause meningitis or encephalitis, which can result in a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.

Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes

  • Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
  • Make sure 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.
  • 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.

    If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away. The most common symptoms are headache, fever and extreme fatigue.

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