Friday, July 6, 2018

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West Nile virus detected in Rockland County mosquitoes

NEW CITY - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced on Thursday that the first pool, or group, of mosquitoes to test positive this year in Rockland County for West Nile Virus (WNV) has been confirmed by the New York State Department of Health. The infected mosquitoes were collected from one trap in the Town of Ramapo during the week of June 29th as part of the County's ongoing West Nile Virus surveillance efforts. No human cases have been reported this season.

"This is typically the time of the year we expect to see a rise in West Nile Virus activity and this positive mosquito pool confirms that," said Dr. Ruppert.

A bite from an infected mosquito can spread West Nile Virus, an infection that can cause serious illness, and in some cases, death. Although a person's chances of getting sick are small, those 50 and older are at highest risk for serious illness. Not everyone infected with West Nile Virus will become ill. However, West Nile can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases, and can also cause a milder flu-like illness, including fever, headache and body aches, nausea, and occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile Virus, see your doctor right away.

There is a lot you can do to reduce mosquitoes around your home and yard:

  • Check your property for ANY items that can hold water. Get rid of the items or empty the water out and scrub the inside of the item at least once a week.
  • Drill drain holes in the bottoms of recycling containers, turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use, and remove all discarded tires.
  • If you have a swimming pool or spa that is not in use, drain the water off the cover or treat this standing water with Mosquito Dunks®. The dunks are available free of charge at the Health Department, Building D, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, Monday - Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, while supplies last.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Use an outdoor flying insect spray where mosquitoes rest. Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
  • If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Make sure that roof gutters drain properly, clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds, and remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.

 


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