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Mosquitoes with West Nile virus found in New York City

NEW YORK — Mosquitoes with West Nile virus were detected in New York City for the first time this season, the Health Department reported Monday.

The infected mosquitoes were found in Staten Island, officials said. No human cases have been reported.

Mosquito season lasts from April through September locally. The Health Department is increasing mosquito surveillance and there are already over 60 surveillance sites citywide. Workers will also spray pesticide to target mosquitoes is persistent West Nile activity is detected.

New Yorkers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

“There are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites when outside,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

She advises:

  • Wearing insect repellent
  • Covering your arms and legs, especially at dawn and dusk
  • Removing standing water from items that might harbor
  • Making sure your windows have screens
  • Ensuring your roof gutters are clean and draining properly

West Nile virus can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases. Nearly 500 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported statewide since 2000. Of those, 37 people did not survive.