The following information is reprinted from the Erie County Department of Health to provide information for our West Seneca residents on the West Nile virus.
- The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- Fortunately, most people who were infected by the 1999 West Nile virus outbreak in the New York City area had no symptoms or experienced mild illness with fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering.
- In a small number of individuals, the West Nile virus can cause more serious disease. Seniors or very young children are at increased risk of developing more severe symptoms including headache, confusion, weakness, paralysis, and seizures. At its most serious, the infection can result in coma and death. Symptoms usually occur five to 15 days follwoing the bite of an infected mosquito.
- Because the West Nile encephalitis is a viral infection, antibotics are not effective and there is no specific treatment available.
- The West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that becomes infected with the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
The Best Way to Avoid the West Nile Virus is to Avoid Mosquito Bites !
What can you do to reduce your risk of mosquito bites?
- Consider minimizing time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitos feed
- Wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time
- Consider the use of mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors. If using insect repellent with DEET, use it sparingly and always according to the manufacturers instructions. Use repellents that have no more than 30% DEET. (According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, repellents used on children should contain no more than 10% DEET) There is no need to treat unexposed skin.
Mosquito Control In and Around your House
Mosquitos NEED stagnant or standing water to lay their eggs. To reduce the mosquito population around your home, and properly reduce or eliminate all stagnant water.
- Check your property and remove any water holding containers, especially old tires, cans, buckets, drums, wheelbarrows, and bottles. Drain the water in birdbaths, plant pots, and drip trays twice a week.
- Check your screens to ensure that your home has tight fitting screens in good repair over windows and doors to keep mosquitos from entering apartments and homes.
- Remove standing water from your basement. Place a couple of capfuls of household bleach in your basement sump-pump pit if it has standing water.
- Keep drains, culverts, ponds, and streams on your property clean of weeds and trash so that the water will drain properly.
- Clean your gutters and remove standing water from flat roofs
- Keep your grass cut short and trim your schrubs to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Be sure rainwater does not collect on pool, sauna, or hot tub covers. You shold disinfect cover with bleach to kill larvae and eggs.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling bins and other containers that are kept outdoors.
- In addition to reducing potential breeding sites on your property, you can encourage your neighbors, local businesses and municipal agencies to do so as well.
Notice of Mosquito Control with Larvacide
- At the direction of the Erie County Department of Health, a program of larvaciding potential mosquito breeding sites such as storm drains and other standing water may be carried out in West Seneca for the health and safety of our residents.
- The larvacides that may be used are ALTOSID and VECTOLEX. The larvacides prevent mosquito larvae from developing into adult mosquitoes capable of spreading the virus by biting humans and birds. Both can cause mild skin and eye irritation but only with direct contact, and both are otherwise safe.
- ALTOSID contains methoprene, an insect growth regulator (IGR) or hormone that interferes with normal mosquito development. ALTOSID products won't upset the food chain or impact fish and other non-target species, and ALTOSID products will not harm the environment.
- VECTOLEX's active ingredient contains a naturally occuring bacteria (Bacillus sphaericus) that is common in soils in the United States and throughout the world. When used around water these bacteria are rapidly destroyed, and their toxins do not appear to be harmful to fish and most other marine life.
- If you have questions about the larvaciding program, please call the Erie County Health Department's Environmental Health Services Office at 858-7690.
The Town of West Seneca is in the forefront in the fight against the West Nile virus. The Town is working aggessively with Erie County and the State of New York to contain, reduce, and eliminate the West Nile virus.
The Engineering Department and the Highway Department are working hard to eliminate sources of standing water and other potential mosquito breeding grounds. Information will be made available and telephone contacts will soon be in place to report untreated sources of standing water and possible infected dead birds.
For more information about the West Nile virus, call the Erie County Environmental Health Services at the following District Office:
South District Office - Hamburg
The Erie County Health Department can be contacted evenings and weekends at:
The Erie County Department of Health General Information Line is:
For more information,
please visit the following West Nile web sites:
http://www.erie.gov/west_nile_virus.phtml (Erie County Web Pages)
http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/doh/html/wnv/wnvfaq9.html (New York City Department of Health)
http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/westnile/index.htm (New York State Department of Health)
http://www.westnilefever.com (West Nile Virus Informational Website)