The Westchester County Department of Health learned today that the first mosquito batch this year in Westchester to test positive for West Nile Virus has been identified. The mosquito batch had been collected by County Health Department staff in Rye Brook and sent to New York State Department of Health for testing.
Last year, there were 29 positive mosquito batches found in Westchester County and four human cases of West Nile virus reported. Westchester County’s first positive mosquito batch last year was reported in late June, which was earlier than usual. So far this year, there have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Westchester County.
The Health Department will continue mosquito surveillance efforts throughout the county, as well as in the area where the positive mosquito batch was found. These efforts will include mosquito trapping and testing as well as surveying catch basins for mosquito larvae or standing water. No standing water was found near the trap site. In the surrounding neighborhood, 62 catch basins were reinspected and 10 were retreated with larvicide.
The Health Department prepared for the summer mosquito season by applying larvicide to catch basins throughout the county in an effort to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.
The Health Department is recommending that residents:
Avoid the outdoors in the late afternoon and early evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding and use insect repellents when outdoors during these times, and be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Adults can apply insect repellents with up to 30% DEET on infants over 2 months of age by applying the product to their own hands and then rubbing their hands on their children. Products containing DEET are not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age.
Wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks when outdoors in areas and at times where and when mosquitoes are active and feeding.
- Check around their property for tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that should be discarded or turned over to prevent collecting water.
- Check and remove standing water from children’s toys and play houses left outside
- Remove discarded tires
- Drill holes in the bottoms of all recycling containers that are left outdoors
- Turn over plastic wading pools, buckets and wheelbarrows when not in use
- Change the water in birdbaths at least twice weekly
- Sweep driveways after it rains to clear puddles
- Keep storm drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor spas and hot tubs and drain water that collects on their covers.
Residents who notice large areas of standing water on public property that could serve as potential mosquito breeding grounds should report this information to the Westchester County Department of Health by calling (914) 813-5000 or emailing the Health Department through its website, www.westchestergov.com/health.