The first batch of mosquitos to test positive for West Nile Virus was collected in Hastings, the Westchester County Department of Health reported today.
Last year, there were 13 positive mosquito batches found in Westchester and four human cases of West Nile Virus reported.
According to the Center for Disease Control's website, West Nile Virus is a "serious, life-altering and even fatal disease."
It can cause symptoms including: "headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis."
Westchester County’s first positive mosquito batch last year was also reported in early August. So far this year, there have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in the county.
The Health Department says it will continue mosquito surveillance efforts—especially in Hastings, where the positive mosquito batch was found. These efforts will include mosquito trapping and testing and surveying catch basins for mosquito larvae or standing water.
The Health Department prepared for the summer mosquito season by applying larvicide to catch basins throughout the county in an effort to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.
The Health Department is recommending that residents:
- Avoid the outdoors in the late afternoon and early evening when mosquitoes are active and feeding and use insect repellents when outdoors during these times, and be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
- Adults can apply insect repellents with up to 30 percent DEET on infants over 2 months of age by applying the product to their own hands and then rubbing their hands on their children. Products containing DEET are not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age.