Translate This Page Print This Page Email a Friend Newsletter Sign-Up
Text Size : Sm Med Lg
Press Releases

New York City Seal
Press Release
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Greg Butler
Monday, September 16, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


DOHMH Announces Two Additional WNV Cases in NYC - a 59-Year-Old Bronx Woman and
a 66-Year-Old Brooklyn Man; Both Hospitalized and in Stable Condition

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today that ground-based spraying in Northeast Queens and Southern Brooklyn has been scheduled in response to persistent and repeated findings of West Nile virus (WNV)-infected mosquitoes.

Northeast Queens Spray Plan
Spraying has been scheduled for overnight, Wednesday, September 18 between 8:00 PM and 2:00 AM, the following morning, weather permitting in the following non-residential areas of Northeast Queens: Flushing Airport (bounded by Linden Place, 20th Avenue, and the Whitestone Expressway), Kissena Park and Golf Course, Cunningham Park, and Alley Pond Park.

Spraying has been scheduled in the following residential areas of Northeast Queens: the neighborhoods of Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills, Bellaire, Queens Village, Bellrose, Floral Park, and Glenn Oaks within the area bounded by (to the north) the Long Island Expressway, Springfield Boulevard, 46th Avenue, Cloverdale Boulevard, Horatio Parkway 50th Avenue, 232nd Street, Hampton Boulevard, and the Long Island Expressway; (to the west) Cunningham Park and Francis Lewis Boulevard; (to the south) Hollis Avenue to Hempstead Avenue; (to the east) and the Nassau county line.

Southern Brooklyn Spray Plan
Spraying has been scheduled for overnight, Thursday, September 19 between 8:00 PM and 2:00 AM the following morning, weather permitting, in non-residential areas of Southern Brooklyn: Marine Park and Golf Course

Spraying has been scheduled in the following residential areas of Southern Brooklyn: the neighborhoods of Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, and Mill Island within the area bounded by: King's Highway to Avenue H to Paerdegat Avenue to the north, Ocean Avenue to the west, Emmons Avenue to the Belt Parkway to the south, and the Paerdegat Basin to the east.

Contingency Spray Plan

In the event of high winds or rain, spraying in Northeast Queens will take place Thursday morning, between the hours of 4:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M., or rescheduled for the next available evening. If weather does not permit spraying in Southern Brooklyn, spraying will take place Friday morning between the hours of 4:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M., or rescheduled for the next available evening. For up-to-date spray schedules, New Yorkers can call 1-877-WNV-4NYC or listen to WCBS radio (880AM) at 6:19 A.M. and 6:19 P.M. Spray schedules are announced on the day prior to and the day of spraying activities.

WNV Update

DOHMH also announced that a 59-year-old Throgs Neck, Bronx, woman and a 66-year-old Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, man have tested positive for West Nile virus. The 59 year-old Throgs Neck woman admitted on September 6 with fever, headache, and mental confusion, was diagnosed with encephalitis, and remains hospitalized in stable condition. The 66-year-old Gerritsen Beach man admitted on September 8 with muscle weakness, was diagnosed with encephalitis, and remains hospitalized in stable condition. To date, there have been 16 cases of WNV in the City this year, including one death. Six patients remain hospitalized. No known New York City cases have been acquired through blood transfusions or organ transplants.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Most people who become infected with WNV do not experience symptoms or become ill. In some individuals, particularly the elderly, West Nile encephalitis can be a serious disease and is potentially fatal. Symptoms generally occur three to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. Less than 1% of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus and most bites from infected mosquitoes probably do not result in infection. Approximately one in five exposed persons develop a flu-like illness and fewer than one in a hundred people become seriously ill. Therefore, people bitten by mosquitoes do not need to be tested for WNV but any individual who develops symptoms such as high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, severe headaches, or stiff neck should see a doctor immediately.

Spraying Precautions

For adult mosquito control this year, DOHMH is using Anvil (Sumithrin), a synthetic pyrethroid used in mosquito control efforts in New York City since 1999. Exposure to Anvil may result in eye, nose and/or respiratory irritation, but symptoms are generally short-term.

Nonetheless, DOHMH offered some tips for individuals who live near the areas to be treated and wish to minimize any potential exposure to pesticides:

  • Some individuals are sensitive to pesticides. Persons with asthma or other respiratory conditions are especially encouraged to stay inside during spraying since there is a possibility that spraying could worsen those conditions.
  • Air conditioners may remain on. But if you wish to reduce the possibility of exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the recirculate function.
  • If you wish to minimize your exposure to pesticides, you may want to bring children's toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas inside during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, they may be washed with soap and water to reduce the possibility of exposure
  • Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water.
  • Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to pesticides should seek medical care or call the NYC Poison Control Center at (212) POISONS [(212) 764-766].

For more information, please call 1-877-WNV-4NYC or visit