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New York City Seal
Press Release
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Monday, September 9, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


No Adult Mosquito Control Activities Currently Scheduled

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today that a 71-year-old man from the Spencer Estates area of the Bronx has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). He experienced fatigue, stiff neck and fever, was hospitalized on September 1 with encephalitis and remains in the hospital in stable condition. Nine cases of WNV have been identified in New York City this year, seven of which have occurred in individuals over the age of 65. No known New York City cases have been acquired through blood transfusions or organ transplants. There is currently no plan to spray the Bronx or other areas of the City.

DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH reminded New Yorkers to eliminate standing water around the home, and to call the WNV Information Line - 1-877-WNV-4NYC (1-877-968-4692) - to report dead birds and areas of standing water. Dr. Frieden also urged New Yorkers - particularly those over the age of 50 - to take personal precautions against mosquitoes.

Of the eight previously announced cases, there has been one fatality, a 73-year-old man from Jackson Heights, Queens. Four individuals remain in the hospital: an 84-year-old man from Rosedale, Queens, who remains in critical condition; an 85-year-old woman from Richmond Hill, Queens, who is in stable condition; a 75-year-old woman from Bayside, Queens; and a 34-year-old woman from Howard Beach, Queens. Three individuals have been released from the hospital, including a 27-year-old woman from East Tremont in the Bronx, an 86-year-old woman from Beechhurst, Queens, and a 71-year-old woman from Schuylerville in the Bronx.

WNV 2002 Positive Results Summary To Date

CitywideBronxBrooklynManhattanQueensStaten Island
Mosquito Pools166221363887
Human Cases930060

A large portion of the southern Bronx was sprayed last night, Sunday, September 8. Spraying also took place earlier this summer in Pelham Bay Park and some residential areas south of the park. Additionally, DOHMH is working closely with other City agencies to control mosquitoes in the larval stage. DOHMH has responded to pproximately 200 standing water reports in the Bronx and repeatedly treated catchbasins throughout the borough, as well as citywide. DOHMH's public health youth corps has given numerous presentations and distributed fact sheets and brochures throughout the summer to educate the public about WNV and to alert communities about spraying activities.

Recommendations to Prevent WNV
DOHMH advises New Yorkers, especially those 50 and over, to take personal precautions against mosquitoes:

  • If outside between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks.
  • Consider the use of an insect repellent containing DEET. USE DEET ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS. As with chemical exposures in general, pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure to DEET whenever practical.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

New Yorkers are also encouraged to help "Mosquito-Proof New York City" by eliminating areas of standing water around their homes:

  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly.
  • Dispose of cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all discarded tires from property.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. If not in use, keep pools empty and covered and drain water from pool covers.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change water in birdbaths every 3 to 4 days.
  • Eliminate any other areas of standing water that collects on your property;
  • Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.

For more information on personal precautions against mosquitoes or how to eliminate standing water, visit or call the City's WNV toll free Information Line at 1-877-WNV-4NYC.