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West Nile Comes to Mamaroneck

Empty today's standing pools of water, warns the county health department.

 

Today's welcome rain does bring at least one unsavory element. Standing pools of water are prime mosquito breeding grounds. And mosquitos carry West Nile.

Today the Weschester County Health Department announced that the first batches of mosquitos in the county to test positive for West Nile Virus this year were found in Mamaroneck. The batches were collected by county health officials and sent to the state health department for testing.

There have been no human cases of West Nile reported this year in the county. Last there were three human cases reported, and 32 positive mosquito batches. Positive mosquito pools have been found already this year in Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as on Staten Island and Queens.

“We expect to find mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus at about this time, so we hope confirmation of their presence reminds residents to take precautions,’’ said Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler.

“The best ways to avoid West Nile are to remove standing water from gutters and play equipment, empty buckets and other containers around your property and to turn over children’s pools after their use. Residents also should avoid spending time outdoors at dusk or apply insect repellents according to the label directions.’’

Here are more tips from the health department:

  • Avoid the outdoors in the early evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding. Use insect repellents when outdoors during these times, following the repellent directions. Adults can apply onto their own hands insect repellents with up to 30 percent DEET and then rub the repellent onto their children. Products containing DEET are not recommended for use on children under two months old.

  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors in areas where and at times when mosquitoes are feeding.

  • Check around their property for cans, containers, ceramic pots and discard or turn over.

  • Check and remove standing water from children’s toys, pools, wheelbarrows and play houses.

  • Remove discarded tires.

  • Drill holes in the bottoms of all recycling containers that are left outdoors.

  • Change the water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.

  • Sweep driveways after it rains to clear puddles.

  • Keep storm drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris.

  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoors spas and hot tubs and drain water that collects on their covers.

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