West Nile Virus Detected in New York City Mosquitoes, No Human Cases Reported This Season

No Zika virus has been detected in mosquitoes

Health Department reminds New Yorkers to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites

June 20, 2016 – For the first time this mosquito season, the Health Department has detected West Nile virus in New York City mosquitoes. The infected Culex pipiens mosquitoes were collected on June 12 from the neighborhood of Prince’s Bay in Staten Island. No human cases have been reported this season. The Health Department will increase mosquito surveillance by setting up additional traps and is also performing additional mosquito treatments in the area. In addition to testing for West Nile virus, the Health Department is aggressively monitoring and testing mosquitoes for the Zika virus – which has not been detected in mosquitoes in New York City. The City will continue its efforts to kill mosquito larvae before they can bite by applying larvicide in the city’s catch basins, marshland, and areas with standing water. The first two larvicide treatments of the season took place from May 12 to May 14 and from June 9 to June 11 in non-residential areas of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. 

“With West Nile virus detected in New York City mosquitoes, it’s very important to take simple precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “When outside, wear insect repellent and cover your arms and legs, especially at dawn or dusk. New Yorkers can help us keep the mosquito population at a minimum by removing standing water from items like buckets, gutters, planters, or any other containers that might be outdoors. Call 311 for any standing water you cannot manage yourself.”

Not everyone infected with West Nile virus will become ill. However, West Nile virus can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases, and can also cause a milder flu-like illness with headache, fever and fatigue, weakness and sometimes rash. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away.

Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes

  • Use an approved insect repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
  • Make sure windows have screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
  • Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use. Drain water that collects in pool covers.
  • Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv.

For more information about West Nile virus, call 311 or visit nyc.gov. 

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Christopher Miller/Julien Martinez: pressoffice@health.nyc.gov
 (347) 396-4177