Nassau County Deputy Presiding Officer Roger Corbin (D-Westbury) is working to educate all residents about how to battle the West Nile Virus. The County's Departments of Public Works and Health are working together throughout the summer to trap adult mosquitoes on at least 40 sites around the county to identify species and determine if there are areas of infestation.
The traps are set two and a half miles apart, emptied on a regular basis by the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) Laboratory and species are sent to the New York State Department of Health for viral testing. The NCDOH also follows closely all cases of suspected or confirmed encephalitis, including West Nile virus.
Úquot;We must be proactive and all county residents will have to play their parts by staying vigilant and cautious,Úquot; said Corbin.
Some key tips to controlling mosquitoes:
* Remove standing water from the following places in which they breed, including old tires, garbage cans, pails or buckets, children's toys and all other objects that can hold water
* Chlorinate swimming pools
* Unclog gutters
* Change water in bird baths
* Report all sightings of dead birds to the toll-free state hotline at 1-866-537-2473
Ways to prevent infection:
* Avoid areas with high mosquito populations
* Use yellow Úquot;bugÚquot; lights
* Install screens on all windows and doors
* Use mosquito repellent
* Don't use bug zappers - they kill beneficial insects
Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn and if infected by a WNV-carrying mosquito, symptoms usually occur 5-15 days after the bite. Most people have no symptoms or display slight fever or headache. Severe infections, to which the elderly are most susceptible, result in high fever, headache, confusion, muscle aches, weakness, seizures or paralysis.
Last year, there were 11 cases of West Nile in Nassau County.
For more information on Nassau County's West Nile precautions, contact Nassau County Mosquito Control at 571-8707. More information on the West Nile virus can be found on the county website at www.co.nassau.ny.us or by calling the West Nile virus information hotline at 571-2500.