NEW YORK, Sept. 3 (UPI) — An unusually high number of mosquitoes in New York City are testing positive for West Nile virus and health officials advise taking precautions to avoid bites.
City health department officials say they have recorded more human cases of West Nile this year than in any other year since 2000 and that could increase — especially if Hurricane Earl or other storms add or contribute to standing water in the city, producing more opportunities for mosquitoes to breed.
City residents — especially older, at-risk residents — can take precautions, including:
– Making sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
– Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
– Reporting standing water by calling 311 or clicking www.nyc.gov/health/wnv. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
– Using approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus — not for children under 3 — or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
– Making sure windows have screens, and repairing or replacing screens that have tears or holes.
A schedule of mosquito control activities is available nyc.gov/health or from the 311 call center.
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.