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New York City Seal
Press Release
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Public Affairs
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


Commissioner Frieden Urges New Yorkers to Take Personal Precaution Against Mosquitoes

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) today announced that a mosquito pool collected in the Van Nest area of the Bronx tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first mosquito pool to test positive for WNV from this area in 2002 and another reminder that New Yorkers citywide should take personal precautions against mosquitoes. DOHMH currently has no plans for adult mosquito control activities in the Bronx.

So far this year, a total of eight mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV, including seven from Staten Island, and one from the Bronx. Approximately 3,000 mosquito pools have been tested for WNV so far this year. More than 200 dead birds have been tested for WNV; one (a grackle) from Staten Island was reported positive today.

DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said "With WNV appearing in both mosquitoes and birds this year, all New Yorkers should remember that these are the months of peak mosquito activity and should take personal precautions to prevent against the transmission of WNV and get rid of standing water around your home."

As previously announced, DOHMH is larviciding by helicopter in Staten Island, starting today, July 17 through Friday, July 19, though it may be completed sooner. In addition, DOHMH has been treating catch basins and other potential mosquito breeding sites with larvicide throughout the City.

For more information on personal precautions against WNV and how to mosquito-proof your home, visit or call the City's toll free West Nile Virus Information Line at 1-877-WNV-4NYC (1-877-968-4692).