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Discovery Of West Nile Mosquitos In Area Prompts Preventative Measures

Mosquitos containing West Nile Virus have been identified in Rockland County and Staten Island.
Mosquitos containing West Nile Virus have been identified in Rockland County and Staten Island. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Department of Health advises residents to prevent mosquito bites after both neighboring Rockland County and New York City reported that batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

While no mosquitoes found in Westchester County have tested positive for the virus to date, this is the time of year when the Health Department expects to find them.

“Given the fact that our neighbors have reported positive mosquitoes, it is safe to assume that mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are also present here in Westchester County,” said Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler, M.D. “The recent rain we’ve had also provides optimal breeding conditions for mosquitoes that can carry the virus. I urge all residents to remove standing water from their property and to take personal protective measures against mosquito bites when spending time outdoors.”

Last year, seven positive mosquito batches were found in Westchester County and two human cases of West Nile Virus were reported.  As part of its integrated pest management strategy, the Health Department evaluated more than 53,000 catch basins this year, and treated over 2/3 with larvicide.

To help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, the Health Commission recommends:

  • Remove standing water around your home.
  • Cover outdoor trash containers to keep rainwater from accumulating inside.
  • Clean roof gutters and remove standing water from flat roofs.
  • Drain water in birdbaths, plant pots and drip trays twice a week.

To reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

  • Avoid being outdoors in places and during times where and when mosquitoes are active and feeding.
  • Use insect repellents with no more than 30 percent DEET, but use them sparingly and with care.
  • Select the lowest concentration effective for the amount of time spent outdoors.

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