With the 2016 Mosquito Season underway, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Commissioner of Health Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein today announced Nassau County’s Zika Action, Mosquito Trapping and Surveillance Plan. The Department of Health has begun trapping and collecting mosquitoes at 42 sites to prevent the spread of diseases such as encephalitis, including West Nile and Zika viruses. The Department of Public Works (DPW) is prepared to treat thousands of street basins, sumps, ponds and hundreds of miles of fresh water streams for mosquitoes as well as aerial applications of larvicide in south shore salt marshes.
“Nassau County has an award winning comprehensive mosquito surveillance and control plan to protect our residents from diseases,” said County Executive Mangano. “With the spread of the Zika virus overseas, I urge residents travelling to take precautions. I once again ask homeowners to eliminate any potential mosquito breeding sites around their property, and to report any concerns of standing water to the Nassau County Department of Public Works.”
DOH conducts mosquito surveillance – which includes the trapping and collection of adult mosquitoes at 42 sites throughout Nassau County. Additional surveillance activities include: identifying species; determining population distribution and abundance; separating and sending selected mosquitoes for viral testing; and thoroughly investigating all cases of suspect or confirmed encephalitis, including West Nile and Zika viruses to determine the source of infection.
“Nassau County continues to advise residents to heed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) travel alert, advising pregnant women to avoid travel to countries where there is known transmission of Zika virus,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein. “The CDC recommends that males who have traveled to or live in areas with active Zika virus transmission and are sexual partners of pregnant women, abstain from sex or consistently and correctly use latex condoms for the duration of the pregnancy,” stated Dr. Eisenstein.
The CDC maintains a map of countries that have past or present Zika virus transmission at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html. The symptoms of Zika virus are generally mild but may include, fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika virus infections. Zika virus is primarily transmitted by certain species of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti, the more efficient transmitter for humans, is not found in New York State. However, Aedes Albopictus, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is a possible transmitter of Zika virus, and is present in Nassau County during mosquito season.
Mosquitos can easily and rapidly increase its population. It is important that residents take measures to eliminate breeding grounds and stop the cycle before it begins. Here are some steps residents can take to eliminate mosquitoes:
• Eliminate standing water from containers such as flowerpot saucers, watering cans, buckets, old tires, recycling bins, and gutters.
• Store children’s toys indoors or in a manner that prevents water accumulation.
• Change the water and clean bird baths.
• Empty water that collects in folds of tarps used to cover woodpiles, boats, pools, lawn furniture, etc.
• Clear leaves and debris to allow water to flow freely from drainage ditches and roof gutters.
• Filter ornamental ponds using a circulation pump or stock the pond with fish.
• Drain or fill-in puddles and areas of your yard that remains wet and soggy for more than a week.
• Maintain lawns groomed to prevent overgrowth.
• Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active.
• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
• Check window or door screens and repair as needed to ensure that mosquitoes cannot enter.
For travel advisory and more information on Zika Virus and the Aedes albopictus visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika.
For complaints concerning mosquitoes or standing water, contact the Nassau County Department of Public Works at (516) 571-6900. For questions regarding mosquito surveillance, contact the Nassau County Department of Health at (516) 572-1211.
In photo From left to right are: Craig Craft, County Commissioner of Emergency Management; Brinda Doraiswamy M.D., Director of Infectious Diseases at Nassau University Medical Center; Victor Politi M.D., President & CEO of Nassau University Medical Center; Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive; Donna Ceravolo, Executive Director and CEO Girl Scouts of Nassau County; Lawrence Eisenstein M.D., County Health Commissioner; and Anthony Falco, Mosquito Control Supervisor for County Public Works.