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Mosquitoes With West Nile Virus Found In Westchester

Mosquito Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Alvesgaspar

Two batches of mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus have been discovered in Westchester County, according to the county health department.

Health officials reported that the mosquitos were found in Mount Vernon. The health department inspected the area where they were found and treated catch basins that held standing water to protect against mosquito breeding.

The New York State Department of Health has tested 105 batches of mosquitos from 11 locations in the county.

The department said there haven't been any reported cases of people contracting West Nile Virus in Westchester County so far this year. 

The virus can cause symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Joint pain

County health officials also said symptoms can be more serious for those aged 60 and older and those with underlying health conditions.

“With so many of us spending more time outdoors, protect yourself and your family by using repellents," Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler said. "Apply sunscreen first, and repellent second."

The county also recommended the following tips:

  • 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 2 months of age by applying the product to their own hands and then rubbing it onto their children, avoiding their hands, eyes and mouth. Products containing DEET are not recommended for use on children under two months of age.
  • 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 playhouses 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.

Health officials said Westchester County residents who notice large areas of standing water on public property are asked to report them to the department of health by calling 914-813-5000.

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