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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 029-13
Friday, August 2, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Levi Fishman: pressoffice@health.nyc.gov


Health Department Reports First Human Case of West Nile Virus Infection for 2013 Season

New Yorkers, especially those 60 or older, should take precautions against mosquito bites

August 2, 2013 – The Health Department today confirmed the season’s first human cases of infection with West Nile virus in two Staten Island residents. The first case was hospitalized and diagnosed with encephalitis. The second case was also hospitalized with encephalitis, but likely acquired the infection while in another state. The Staten Island neighborhoods listed below are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations. The sprayings will take place on Wednesday, August 7, 2013between the hours of 8:15 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. the following morning, weather permitting. In case of bad weather, application will be delayed untilThursday, August 8, 2013 during the same hours.

“These first human cases of West Nile virus this season remind us to protect ourselves against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “Eliminating standing water from your property will help prevent mosquitos from multiplying. Wearing mosquito repellent when you are outdoors, and long sleeves and pants in the morning and evening will reduce your risk of infection. New Yorkers age 60 and older should be especially careful as they are more likely to develop serious illness if infected.”

Human cases of West Nile virus occur each year in New York City typically from July through October. To date, 294 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with West Nile virus since it was first found in the United States in 1999.

The Health Department uses a comprehensive approach to monitor the city for West Nile virus and help control its spread by mosquitoes. The agency inspects and treats standing water sites with non-chemical larvicides to kill larval mosquitoes before they emerge as flying adults. When necessary, the agency also applies small amounts of chemical pesticides (adulticides) to kill adult mosquitoes. A schedule of mosquito control activities is available online at nyc.gov/health or by phone from the 311 call center.

Locations of Application

NeighborhoodsBoundariesZip Codes

Parts of  Grymes Hill, Randall Manor, Sunnyside, and West Brighton, and Westerleigh

Bordered by Forest Ave, Castleton Ave, Woodstick Ave  and Victory Blvd to the North; Manor Road to the West; Staten Island Expressway to the South; and Clove Road, Howard Ave and Louis Street to the East

Parts of 10301, 10310, 10314

For these sprayings, the Health Department will use a very low concentration of Anvil® 10+10, a synthetic pesticide. When properly used, this product poses no significant risks to human health. The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:

  • Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
  • Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.
Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes
  • Consider reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during the hours between dusk and dawn in areas with heavy mosquito populations.
  • Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three).
  • 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. 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 standing water by calling 311 or visiting http://www.nyc.gov/health/wnv.
About West Nile Virus

West Nile virus infection can cause a mild or moderate flu-like illness, or sometimes no symptoms at all. In some people, particularly those 60 and older, West Nile virus can cause a serious and potentially fatal infection of the brain and spinal cord. The most common symptoms are headache, fever, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue. Symptoms of more severe illness can also include changes in mental status and muscle weakness. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away. For more information about West Nile virus, and how to avoid it, visit nyc.gov/health or call 311.

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