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Mosquitoes In Westchester Test Positive For West Nile Virus For First Time This Year

This season’s first batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been identified in Westchester, the county health department announced.
This season’s first batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been identified in Westchester, the county health department announced. Photo Credit: File photo

This season’s first batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been identified in Westchester, the county health department announced.

The mosquitoes were identified in Mamaroneck.

The area surrounding the positive mosquito batches were inspected on Friday, Sept. 6 by the Health Department, which has treated nearby catch basins to protect against further mosquito breeding nearby.

A total of 195 batches of mosquitoes have been collected and tested in Westchester for the West Nile Virus by the New York State Department of Health.

In 2018, the first positive batch in Westchester was collected on July 24.

The state Health Department had identified 361 positive mosquito batches throughout the state as of Friday, Aug. 30, including 266 in New York City.

“To protect yourself and your family when you spend time outdoors, use repellents, especially from dawn to dusk, when mosquitoes are most active," said Westchester Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD.

The Health Department also gave 450 pounds of free fathead minnows to residents with ponds to reduce the mosquito population. The minnows reduce the mosquito population by feeding on larvae and pupae before they emerge into adult mosquitoes.

Throughout the season, the department also traps and tests mosquitoes to track the presence of mosquito-borne viruses in the county.

In 2018, West Nile Virus was identified in 10 local mosquito batches out of 393 submitted for testing and four people were diagnosed with West Nile Virus.

In 2017, West Nile Virus was identified in five local mosquito batches out of 380 submitted for testing and three people were diagnosed with West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus infection most often causes a mild or moderate flu-like illness, but can be more serious particularly for people 60 and older, and those with other health complications.

Four residents were diagnosed with West Nile Virus in 2018 and three in 2017, and all recovered.

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.

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