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New York City Seal
Press Release
New York City Department of Health
Office of Public Affairs
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Friday, June 21, 2002
(212) 788-5290 | (877) 640-1347
(212) 764-7667(Weekend)


Application to Take Place June 25 - June 27 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Weather Permitting

The New York City Department of Health (DOH) today announced that next week it will apply larvicide by helicopter to marsh and wetland areas of Staten Island (see below). The application is scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday June 25-27, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., weather permitting. While three days are being allotted for this activity, if weather permits, the application may be completed in less time. This application is to address an increase in larval mosquito activity detected in these areas. West Nile virus has not yet been detected in New York City this year.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said, "DOH surveillance directs our prevention and control activities and enables us to take appropriate action to prevent human infection. Recent surveillance of the marsh areas in Staten Island indicates an increase of mosquito breeding, particularly among species that are known to spread the virus to humans. While there has been no reported West Nile virus activity in New York City thus far this year, this application of larvicide will help reduce the need to apply pesticides later on."

The marsh (non-residential) areas to be treated are: the Saw Mill Marsh area between Chelsea and Bloomfield (North of Victory Blvd.), the GATX Industrial Park area in Gulfport, marsh areas south of Richmond Terrace, marsh areas near the Staten Island Industrial Park in Bloomfield, areas adjacent to Clay Pit Ponds, and areas adjacent to Richmond Creek in La Tourette Park (not including the Golf Course). Due to their size and difficulty to reach by ground vehicles, the targeted marshes and wetlands will be treated with larvicides from a low-flying helicopter.

The larvicide product ( VectoLex CG, a natural bacterial agent) is the same product the Health Department used last year, and will use throughout this mosquito season to treat catch basins and other areas of standing water. Additional surveillance activity is currently being conducted to determine whether further application of larvicide in these areas will be necessary.

So far this year, more than 400 mosquito pools and more than 100 dead birds from the City have been tested; all have been negative for WNV. For more information, call the City's toll free West Nile Virus Information Line at 1-877-WNV-4NYC (1-877-968-4692) or visit