For the first time this mosquito season, the Health Department has detected mosquitoes with West Nile virus.

The infected mosquitoes were collected in Staten Island but there are no reports of humans contracting the virus.

The Health Department is increasing mosquito surveillance in the surrounding area by installing additional mosquito monitoring traps. The Department will spray pesticide to target mosquitoes if persistent West Nile activity is detected.

“There are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites when outside – wear insect repellent and cover your arms and legs, especially at dawn or dusk,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

Not everyone infected with West Nile virus will become ill. However, West Nile virus can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases, and can also cause a milder flu-like illness with headache, fever and fatigue, weakness and sometimes rash. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away.

Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes:

-Use an approved insect repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
-Make sure windows have screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
-Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
-Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
-Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use. Drain water that collects in pool covers.

Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/health/wnv. For more information about West Nile virus, call 311 or visit nyc.gov.

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