As West Nile mosquitoes spread across Brooklyn, city to spray on Wednesday
Spraying from D’town Brooklyn to Mill Basin
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus have spread across Brooklyn, with mosquito traps and water pools testing positive in 17 Brooklyn ZIP codes as of Aug. 2.
While most people infected with West Nile suffer no long-term damage, about 20 percent come down with West Nile Fever or more severe “neuroinvasive” effects ranging from headache or neck stiffness to convulsions, encephalitis, meningitis or death.
The city will begin spraying pesticide in neighborhoods running from Downtown Brooklyn to Mill Basin on Wednesday evening, according to the New York City Department of Health (DOH). Trucks will be out between the hours of 9 p.m. on Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday morning, weather permitting. (In case of bad weather, the application will be delayed until Thursday, August 9 during the same hours.)
Neighborhoods to be sprayed on Wednesday include: parts of Bergen Beach, Brownsville, Canarsie, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, East Flatbush, East New York, Farragut, Fort Greene, Georgetown, Greenwood Heights, Mill Basin, New Lots, Paerdegat Basin, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Park South, Remsen Village, Rugby, Spring Creek, Starrett City, and Windsor Terrace, Parts of Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and New Utrecht.
Close Your Windows
According to DOH, the city will use very low concentrations of DUET pesticide. The risks of this spray are low to people and pets, but the agency advises that children and pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure if possible. They also suggest remaining inside or avoiding the area when spraying takes place, and for about 30 minutes afterward.
In addition, you may want to close windows and air conditioner vents (or choose the recirculate function) for 30 minutes following spraying. DOH says that while unnecessary, you can wash exposed outdoor toys and equipment with soap and water. Always wash off home grown fruit and vegetables.
The city is urging residents to eliminate any standing water where mosquitos breed. When going outside, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
According to DOH, people in areas where the virus has been detected – especially those over 50 – should take extra care to prevent mosquito bites. Parents of young children should also take care, as should people with compromised immune systems.
So far this year, just one NYC resident with West Nile Fever has been reported. That person lives in Staten Island, where mosquitos carying the virus have been detected in almost every ZIP code.
Last year, across the city, 20 people suffered from neuroinvasive effects, with 9 in Brooklyn. One person came down with West Nile Fever, a resident of Queens.
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