First pool (group) of mosquitoes to test positive this season for West Nile Virus in Rockland County


Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert this week announced 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.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near water, and their offspring “grow up” in water before emerging as adults that fly and bite. Many types of mosquitoes, including those that can spread disease, lay their eggs in the smallest amounts of stagnant (still) water around the home such as in birdbaths, bottle caps, unused flowerpots, and discarded tires, as well as in small ponds or other bodies of stagnant water. “Health Department mosquito control teams will continue to treat all known mosquito breeding sites, including sites near this positive mosquito pool. Larval control activities will continue throughout the summer,” said Dr. Ruppert.

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.
Most mosquitoes are not infected with disease-causing viruses. However, to reduce your risk of being bitten, take the following steps:
• Cover-up as completely as possible. Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods or when mosquitoes are more active.
• Use mosquito repellent, which should always be applied according to label directions. Do not use repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children younger than 3 years old.
• Cover baby carriers with mosquito netting when outside.
• Stay indoors when mosquitoes are more active.
• Close doors and make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that the screens do not have rips, tears or holes.
To learn more, call the Health Department at 845-364-3173 or visit http://bit.ly/2aXY0E4. To learn more about the West Nile virus visithttps://on.ny.gov/2q9KsNb.

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