As if Westchester needed another virus, the old West Nile variety has come on the wings of mosquitoes sighted in Elmsford, Hastings, Mount Vernon and Rye. They tend to breed in standing water, and the county is searching for breeding grounds so they can spray.
A report on mosquito control and surveillance can be found on the County Health Department’s West Nile Virus page.
Throughout the season, the Department also traps and tests mosquitoes to track the presence of mosquito-borne viruses.
So far this year, there have been no reported cases of West Nile Virus in Westchester. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches and joint pain, but can be more serious for people 60 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions.
For more ideas on how to reduce the mosquito population near your home, go to https://health.westchestergov.com/west-nile-virus and follow these 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 two 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 play houses 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.
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.