As summer begins, Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), a member of the State Senate’s Health Committee, is reminding residents that prevention is the best way to help combat the threat of West Nile virus.
"Although the chances of contracting West Nile virus are remote, it is still a good idea for residents to take measures to safeguard themselves from this disease," said Senator Fuschillo. "By working together and following a few simple steps, we can ensure that our families are protected."
According to the New York State Department of Health, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death. Although a person's chances of getting sick are small, residents are advised to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:
- Reduce or eliminate all standing water.
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Dispose of used tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site. Call your local landfill or Department of Public Works to find out how to dispose of them properly.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
- Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.
- Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths twice a week.
- Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
Senator Fuschillo is also offering a brochure with information about West Nile virus, which residents can obtain free of charge by calling his office at 516-546-4100, or by visiting his website at www.senatorfuschillo.com and clicking on the "Order Brochures" link on the left side of the page. Additional information can be obtained by calling the New York State Department of Health at 1-800-458-1158, or by visiting www.health.state.ny.us.
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