Abrahams Announces the Trapping Mosquitoes for West Nile Virus in Nassau County
Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) and the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) and Public Works announced that they will continue their mosquito surveillance and control efforts throughout the county in order to track West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
The Health Department conducts mosquito surveillance, including the trapping and collection of adult mosquitoes which began May 14, 2007 at 42 sites throughout Nassau County.Additional surveillance activities include: identifying species, determining population distribution and abundance, separating and sending selected mosquitoes for viral testing, and thoroughly investigating all cases of suspect or confirmed encephalitis, including West Nile virus, to determine the source of infection.
“The West Nile virus has become a very real threat to the health and wellbeing of Nassau County residents,” Abrahams said. “I applaud the efforts of the County in doing everything that is necessary to ensure that the virus is identified before it can spread.”
The Department of Pubic Works (DPW) provides mosquito control, including the monitoring and treatment with larvicides, when appropriate, thousands of street basins, sumps, ponds and hundreds of miles of fresh water streams; checking suspect breeding sites for the presence of larvae; and maintaining “ditches” on the county’s south shore which allow fish to reach and consume mosquito eggs, larvae and pupae. DPW will continue aerial applications of larvicide in the non-populated areas in the south shore salt marshes as needed to control populations of salt marsh mosquitoes.
West Nile virus is now present throughout the country.The primary carrier of West Nile in Nassau County is the Culex pipiens, or “house mosquito” which, as an adult, does not travel more than 200 feet from its breeding site.Therefore, residents are urged to take the following precautions:
- Remove or empty standing water from old tires, garbage cans, pails, or any object that can hold water
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall
- Keep swimming pools chlorinated and their covers free of stagnant water
- Change the water in birdbaths every two or three days
- Install window and door screens and keep them in good repair
- Consider wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and mosquito repellent (according to directions) when outdoors where mosquitoes are active, especially in the late afternoon and from dusk to dawn
“In the fight against West Nile, everyone needs to get involved,” Abrahams said. “By following a few simple steps and monitoring your own backyard, you can help prevent the spread of this disease.”
For mosquito problems, stagnant water or a drainage problem, please call the Nassau County Department of Public Works at 572-1166, weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For information concerning West Nile virus activity, please phone the Health Department Information Line at 571-2500. For additional information you can also phone the Nassau County Department of Health at 572-1211, weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., or access the county’s website: www.nassaucountyny.gov/health.
To report a dead bird, call the toll-free NY State hotline at: 1-866-537-2473 weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, or the Nassau County Department of Health at 572-1211 weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.