The Westchester County Health Department announced that this season’s first two batches of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in Westchester were found in Rye and Mamaroneck. The Health Department will inspect areas surrounding the positive mosquito batches and if needed, treat any nearby catch basins that hold standing water to protect against further mosquito breeding nearby.
To date, these are the first positives out of 108 batches of mosquitos collected by the County Health Department from 11 locations throughout Westchester that were tested for West Nile Virus by the New York State Department of Health. Last year, 11 Westchester batches of mosquitoes had West Nile Virus out of 151 submitted for testing, with the virus first detected in mosquitoes collected August 4.
Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler, MD said: “As you spend more time outdoors, protect yourself and your family by using repellents, especially from dawn to dusk, when many mosquitoes are active. Apply sunscreen first, and repellent second.”
The Health Department reminds residents about mosquito safety through news releases, social media and our website, where a report on mosquito control and surveillance can be found on the West Nile Virus page. Throughout the season, the Department also traps and tests mosquitoes to track the presence of mosquito-borne viruses.
Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, body aches and joint pain, but can be more serious for people 60 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions.
Tips to avoid West Nile:
- Avoid the outdoors in the late afternoon and early evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding, or use insect repellents then and follow the label instructions.
- Adults can use insect repellents with up to 30 percent DEET on infants over two months of age by applying the product to their own hands and then rubbing it onto their children, avoiding their children's hands, eyes, and mouth.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors, especially in areas where mosquitoes are active and feeding.
- Check around your property for anything that can hold water, and pour it out or put it away.
- Check and remove standing water from children’s toys and play houses left outside.
- Remove discarded tires.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of all recycling containers that are left outdoors.
- Turn over plastic wading pools, buckets and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.
- Keep storm drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris.
- Continue to chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor spas and hot tubs until properly winterized or drained for the season. Also, if not chlorinated, drain any water that collects on their covers.
Residents who notice large areas of standing water on public property should report them to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000.