West Nile Virus Hits New Record in Rockland

There have not been any human cases, but there is a rise in the disease within Rockland's mosquito population


Westchester County has learned of of  this year, which was recently diagnosed in a 28-year-old New Rochelle resident who is recovering at home after being hospitalized, according to the Westchester County Department of Health.

With only a river of separation, the Rockland County Health Department is pushing for high awareness of the disease, especially since they're documenting record-high numbers for the virus in the mosquito population.

In the past 12 years, 80 was the highest number of mosquito pools that tested positive for the West Nile virus, which was in 2002. The number of positive cases so far this year is 112. 

“At this point Rockland County has no documented human cases of West Nile virus,” said Rockland County Health Department Senior Environmental Health Specialist Brian Hunderfund. “We do have results from our adult mosquito trappings that indicates that there is West Nile virus in the mosquito population.”

The county collects from trappings around the county on a weekly basis. They started submitting mosquito samples in 2001.

“We’ve had more positive results this year than any year since our inception,” said Hunderfund. “We do mosquito surveillance and control and as part of surveillance, we test for other diseases. Presently the only disease that we’re picking up in the mosquito population is West Nile. We started submitting samples this year in the second week of June.”

Here are testing results as of Aug. 24

447 Pools Submitted

Positives By Town

335 Negative

112 Positive

0 Pending

33 - Clarkstown

21 - Haverstraw

22 - Orangetown

30 - Ramapo

6 – Stony Point

Results from previous years is attached to this article as a PDF file.

Hunderfund stressed the importance of residents being proactive in preventing the virus by eliminating potential breeding grounds for mosquitos. For tips from the county health department, go to this . 

Just last week, the . Texas is among the states with the biggest problem.

West Nile Virus infection most often causes a mild or moderate flu-like illness, but can be more serious and potentially fatal in people 50 and older, and  those with other health complications. 

To help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds where you live:

  • Get rid of all water-holding containers, especially old tires, cans, buckets, drums, wheelbarrows and bottles.
  • Cover outdoor trash containers to keep rainwater from accumulating inside.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are left outdoors.
  • Clean roof gutters and remove standing water from flat roofs.
  • Drain water in birdbaths, plant pots and drip trays twice a week.
  • Sweep driveways after it rains so that they are free of puddles.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.

To reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

  • Avoid being outdoors in places and during times where and when mosquitoes are active and feeding.
  • Use insect repellents with no more than 30% DEET, but use them sparingly and with care.
  • Select the lowest concentration effective for the amount of time spent outdoors.
  • Products with concentrations around 10% are effective for periods of approximately two hours.
  • A concentration of 24% has been shown to provide an average of five hours of protection. DEET should not be applied more than once a day.
  • Products containing DEET are not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age. Carefully read and follow directions on the container and wash treated skin when mosquito exposure has ended.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors in areas and at times where and when mosquitoes are active.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
  • Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
HEALtheHARBOR.com August 30, 2012 at 02:02 PM
In Rye NY we are allowed to breed mosquitoes and with permission of the City and the County of Westchester! Watch the below video; https://vimeo.com/47034186


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