NEW YORK, July 19 (UPI) — No human cases of West Nile virus have been detected in New York City, but city officials say the number of mosquitoes carrying the virus is unusually high.
The city health department has issued an alert to medical providers throughout the city to be on the lookout for possible cases of West Nile virus — headache, fever and extreme fatigue — and to report any cases.
“Warm standing water is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, so with the three heat waves that we’ve already had this summer, it is vitally important to make sure standing water is reduced to help prevent mosquito breeding,” Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner, said in a statement.
“This summer it is especially important to take simple personal steps to reduce exposure to mosquitoes, especially for persons 50 years or older. The best way to reduce risk is to wear repellent outdoors in the evening, when mosquitoes are most active.”
The city inspected and treated standing water with non-chemical larvicides to kill larval mosquitoes, but it also sprays pesticide from trucks in Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
The health department advises residents to:
– Use an approved insect repellent.
– Make sure windows have screens and repair holes.
– Eliminate any standing water.
– Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining.
– Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Drain water that collects in pool covers.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.