Days after the first human case of West Nile virus was identified, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced they will spray larvicide in three Queens neighborhoods.
A Staten Island man was the first confirmed human case of the West Nile virus this year, after 11 were diagnosed with the virus a year ago.
“This first human case of West Nile virus this season provides a vital reminder to protect ourselves against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner. “Eliminating standing water from your property will help prevent mosquitoes from multiplying. Wearing mosquito repellent when you are outdoors, and long sleeves and pants in the morning and evening will reduce your risk of infection. New Yorkers age 50 and older should be especially careful as they are more likely to become seriously ill, and in rare instances die, if infected.”
Twenty pools of standing water have tested positive for the virus in Queens.
The Health Department will spray parts of Rosedale, Brookville, Laurelton, Springfield Park and Brookville Park beginning on July 31 at 8:15 a.m. The application of the larvicide will last until 6 a.m. the next day.
The area being sprayed is bordered by Francis Lewis Boulevard and 130th Avenue to the north; the Belt Parkway, Farmers Boulevard and Guy R Brewer Boulevard to the west; Rockaway Boulevard to the south and Hook Creek Boulevard, Hook Creek and the Nassau County border to the east.
The pesticide being used, Anvil 10 + 10, poses no health risks when used properly, but the Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure:
• Whenever possible, stay indoors during spraying. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions.
• Air conditioners may remain on, however, if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticides, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position, or choose the re-circulate function.
• Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment and toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.
• Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.