West Nile-infected mosquitoes found again in Brooklyn
Standing water is often host to threat
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus have been detected in all five boroughs of New York City, including four Brooklyn ZIP codes, according to the city Department of Health.
The four Brooklyn ZIP codes where West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found during the past month are 11207 (Starrett City-East New York, close to the Jamaica Bay shoreline), 11206 (the Broadway Triangle area), 11228 (Dyker Heights, on Gravesend Bay), and 11232 (Sunset Park, also on the waterfront).
Mosquitoes in general, including those infected with West Nile, are usually found near bodies of standing water. Most people who are infected with West Nile Virus don’t develop serious illnesses beyond temporary symptoms of fever or fatigue, but some can develop a serious and potentially fatal infection of the brain and spinal cord. Those over 50 or who have weakened immune system are most at risk.
“Let’s not forget safety while enjoying summer fun,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Take simple steps to protect you and your loved ones from mosquito bites this summer: use insect repellent and cover arms and legs. Standing water can harbor mosquitoes. If you encounter pools of standing water, call 311.”
There are more than 50 permanent surveillance sites citywide, and the Health Department installs additional mosquito traps around affected areas to enhance mosquito surveillance. The department uses a comprehensive, integrated management approach to prevent and control mosquitoes which can transmit West Nile virus.
The city controls the mosquito population by applying larvicide (a form of insecticide) in catch basins, marshland and other areas with standing water. The Health Department has already begun catch-basin larviciding and conducted two helicopter-based larviciding events in the marsh areas of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Pesticides can also be sprayed to target adult mosquitoes where persistent West Nile virus activity is detected.
In the past, Brooklyn neighborhoods that have been sprayed for West Nile have included Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Paerdegat Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Spring Creek and Starrett City. Usually, the spraying has been done overnight, and in non-residential areas.
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