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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 055-06
Friday, June 30, 2006

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (after hours)
Andrew Tucker (atucker@health.nyc.gov)
Joyce Hernández López (jlopez@health.nyc.gov)


HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES ARRIVAL OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN NYC

A Mosquito Pool in Staten Island Tests Positive for WNV; New Yorkers Aged 50 and Older Reminded to Reduce Exposure to Mosquitoes and Use Insect Repellent When Outdoors in Areas Where Mosquitoes Are Active

NEW YORK CITY – June 30, 2006 – The first signs of West Nile virus (WNV) in New York City during the 2006 mosquito season have been detected, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today. A pool of mosquitoes collected in the Old Town section of Staten Island have tested positive for WNV. DOHMH has increased mosquito surveillance and larviciding in these areas; no spraying is planned at this time.

With the official arrival of the West Nile virus season, DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH reminded New Yorkers – particularly those over the age of 50 – to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed around the home, reduce exposure to mosquitoes, and use insect repellents.

"While it is still early in the season, West Nile is here in New York City," DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said. "Most human infections do not occur until later in the summer. Older New Yorkers are most likely to get seriously ill from West Nile virus. People over the age of 50 – and especially those over the age of 65 – should guard against mosquito bites and all New Yorkers should get rid of standing water and make sure window screens are installed tightly and are free of tears or holes."

Reduce Exposure to Mosquitoes

  • Repair or replace all screens that have tears and holes.
  • Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property:
  • Dispose of containers that can collect standing water.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly and rooftops are free of standing water.
  • 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.
  • Vases are prohibited in cemeteries during West Nile virus season.
  • Use an approved mosquito repellent when outdoors in areas where mosquitoes are active.
  • Use an approved mosquito repellent when outdoors in areas where mosquitoes are active. Products containing the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-Menthane-3, 8 diol) are repellents currently approved for use in New York State. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than three.

To report dead birds or standing water, or for more information about West Nile virus, call 311 or visit http://www.nyc.gov/health/wnv.

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Important Links:
Get more information about West Nile virus