The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is recommending that New Yorkers take precautionary measures against mosquito bites by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeve shirts when going outdoors for long periods of time. The removal of all standing water from property and the use of appropriate mosquito repellent is also advised by State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah.
To protect against mosquito bites and potential exposure to West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, health officials recommend applying insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Users are reminded to follow the label directions when using insect repellents.
Patch reported a case of West Nile Virus last summer, as well as about 22 positive batches of mosquitoes in the county as of the end of August of this year.
To reduce the number of mosquitoes around a home or property, New Yorkers are encouraged by state officials to:
- Dispose of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers in which water collects
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use and change the water in bird baths twice a week
- Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain water from pool covers.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause mild to serious illness and occasionally death.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a rare but serious viral diseasespread by mosquitoes; it affects people and horses. Only five cases have been diagnosed in humans in New York State since 1971 but one case during each of the past three years has proved to be fatal. Before 2009, no human cases had been detected in New York State for more than 25 years.
West Nile Virus remains a threat into October.
"The number of people who have become ill with West Nile Virus disease continues to go up, and we expect the numbers will be high at least and through until October," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He shared, "A total of 2,636 cases of West Nile Virus disease in people, including 118 deaths, have been reported to CDC."
The statistics apply for 48 states. There has been no sign of West Nile Virus activity in Alaska or Hawaii.
For more information on West Nile virus, go to: health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/fact_sheet.htm
For more information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, visit: health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm