Legislator Scannell Offers Tips to Safeguard Against West Nile
First West Nile Virus-Positive Mosquito in 2011
Nassau County Legislator Joe Scannell (D-Baldwin) was informed by the Nassau County Department of Health that the Department’s staff has isolated the County’s first incidence of West Nile virus (WNV) from a mosquito. The virus was identified in a sample of Culex pipiens-restuans mosquitoes, collected on July 8 in West Hempstead. The test results were confirmed on July 18 by the New York State Department of Health. To date, no humans have tested positive for West Nile virus in Nassau County.
Legislator Scannell said, “The Nassau County Departments of Health and Public Works will continue their mosquito control efforts by inspecting breeding sites and, when necessary, applying larvicide. It is important for all residents to take the proper safety precautions to protect against the West Nile Virus.”
The primary carrier of WNV in Nassau County is Culex pipiens-restuans, or “the house mosquito” which does not fly more than 200 feet from its breeding site. Residents are being urged by the Nassau County Health Department to take the following precautions for safety and protection:
• Remove or empty standing water from children’s outdoor toys, flower pots, garbage cans, pails, or any object that can hold water.
• Make sure roof gutters drain properly; 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) if outdoors when mosquitoes are active, especially in the late afternoon and evening hours.
• Decorative ponds and water features should be circulated or chlorinated if they do not contain fish to prevent mosquito breeding.
To report mosquito, stagnant water, or drainage problems, call the Nassau County Department of Public Works at: (516) 571-6900. For additional information on West Nile virus activity, contact Nassau County Department of Health at: (516) 572-1211, weekdays from 7:45 am to 3:30 pm. Additional West Nile virus information may be found on the Nassau County Department of Health website at http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Health/westnile.html