West Nile Virus Found in Rockland County Mosquitoes

First pool, or group, of mosquitoes this year to test positive for West Nile Virus


Pomona, NY – Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced Monday that the first pool, or group, of mosquitoes to test positive this year in New York State for West Nile Virus (WNV) has been confirmed by the New York State Department of Health to be in Rockland County.

The pool of adult mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile Virus in the Town of Clarkstown.  The mosquitoes were collected during the week of June 13 as part of the County’s ongoing West Nile Virus surveillance efforts.

“This is the time of the year we expect to see a rise in West Nile Virus activity and the positive results confirm that.  Health Department mosquito control teams will continue to treat all known mosquito breeding sites, including those near these positive mosquito pools. Larval control activities will continue throughout the rest of the summer,” said Dr. Ruppert.

Mosquitoes can carry several diseases, including West Nile Virus and dog heartworm. Even the smallest amount of standing water can serve as a breeding site. Mosquitoes lay eggs in these sites and they hatch within a few days. Follow these tips to help prevent mosquitoes:

  • Check your property for ANY items that can hold water.  Even small items, such as drinking cups or soda cans, can produce mosquitoes.  Get rid of the items or empty the water out at least once a week.
  • If you have a swimming pool that is not in use, drain the water off the cover or treat this standing water with Mosquito Dunks®.  They contain bacteria that kill mosquitoes in their larval stage in water, before they become flying, biting adults. 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.  It is important to know the size of your pool when coming to pick up your dunks.
  • Drill drain holes in the bottoms of recycling containers, turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use, and remove all discarded tires.
  • Make sure that roof gutters drain properly.
  • Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.
  • Make sure that all windows and doors have screens and that all screens are in good repair.

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.  You can reduce the risk of being bitten in the following ways:

  • Minimize outdoor activities when mosquitoes are active.
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active.
  • If you are going to be outdoors when or where mosquitoes are active, consider using an insect repellent.  Follow directions on the label.

To learn more, visit http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/environmental-health/mosquito-control/ or call the Health Department at 845-364-3173. To learn more about West Nile Virus, visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/fact_sheet.htm

You must be logged in to post a comment Login