Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today offered information to residents about how to protect themselves from West Nile virus. West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne infection that can cause serious illness or death in some cases, has been detected in several mosquito pools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
“Although the chances of becoming ill from West Nile virus are small, residents should still take steps to safeguard themselves,” said Senator Fuschillo. “Taking a few simple steps will help reduce the risk of West Nile virus and help protect your family.”
According to the New York State Department of Health, reducing or eliminating standing water puddles is the best way for residents to reduce their risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. Standing water puddles are where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
The Department advises residents to take the following steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding near their homes:
- 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 plastic 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.
Residents can obtain more information about West Nile virus by calling the New York State Department of Health at 1-800-458-1158 or visiting their website at www.nyhealth.gov.