Thursday, July 31, 2008

West Nile Virus Detected in Queens

The city Department of Health is urging residents, especially senior citizens, to take precautions after West Nile virus was detected in neighborhoods across Queens, including Middle Village, Kew Gardens and Woodhaven.

The recent finding marks the first time the virus has been detected in mosquitoes within the city this year. No human cases of the virus have been reported yet, but two people died out of 12 human cases reported last year. Since 2004, just 34 cases of West Nile virus have been reported around the city, but 14 of those were in Queens.

Along with those three neighborhoods, West Nile has also been detected in South Flushing, Cambria Heights, Whitestone, Brookville, Laureton, Rosedale and Far Rockaway, according to the city DOH.

The health department advises residents to eliminate any standing water that collects on their property since mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing or slow moving water. Also, weeds, tall grass and bushes provide an outdoor resting place for mosquitoes, so residents are urged to keep their lawns maintained.

To prevent standing water from accumulating, the city asks that residents remove all discarded tires from their property, dispose of old tin cans and ceramic pots, keep unused swimming pools covered when not in use and making sure roof gutters drain property and are unclogged.

For details about West Nile virus, check

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