The NYC Department of Health announced yesterday that it has "detected West Nile virus in New York City mosquitoes" for the first time this summer.
According to the DOH, "The infected mosquitoes were collected from the Douglaston and College Point neighborhoods in Queens and Old Town from Staten Island. No human cases have been reported this season. The Health Department will increase mosquito surveillance by setting up additional traps and treating catch basins in the affected areas. The Health Department will continue its efforts to kill mosquito larvae before they can bite by applying larvicide in the city’s catch basins, marshland, and areas with standing water."
Mosquitos are the deadliest animals on earth, but don't totally freak out: Not everyone infected with West Nile becomes sick, but the DOH says, "West Nile virus can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases, and can also cause a milder flu-like illness with headache, fever and fatigue, weakness and sometimes rash. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away."
Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassatt said, "It is important to take simple precautions to protect you and your family. During warm weather, mosquitoes can breed in any still water that stands for more than four days, so the most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water. New Yorkers are also encouraged to mosquito-proof their homes, wear mosquito repellent and cover their arms and legs if they’re outside at dawn or dusk. New Yorkers over 50 should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus."
The DOH will start spraying larvicide to marshy and non-residential areas of Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens later this week and next week; details below: