Infected mosquitoes have also been collected from New Dorp Beach in Staten Island, but no human cases have been reported.
In response, the Health Department said it is increasing mosquito surveillance by setting up additional traps and treating catch basins in the affected areas. The department is additionally continuing to apply larvicide in the city’s catch basins, marshlands and areas with standing water.
“West Nile virus has been detected in New York City, so we urge everyone to take simple precautions to protect you and your family,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “The most effective way to keep mosquito populations low is to remove standing water from items like buckets, gutters, planters or any other receptacles that might be outdoors. New Yorkers are also encouraged to wear mosquito repellent and cover their arms and legs if they’re outside at dawn or dusk in areas with mosquitoes. New Yorkers over 50 or who have severely weakened immune systems should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus.”
The Heath Department also warned about the serous complications of West Nile virus, including neurological diseases, and said if you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, which can also be a milder flu-like illness with headache, fever and fatigue, weakness and sometimes a rash, see your doctor right away.
To reduce exposure to mosquitoes the Health Department recommends the following:
- Use an approved insect repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
- Make sure windows have screens and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
- Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
- Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv.