West Nile Cropping up in New York State
The number of mosquito pools testing positive for West Nile virus in New York state doubled since last year, a surge being seen around the country.
More than 600 pools of the insects tested positive through Aug. 14, with 206 in New York City, according to the state Department of Health. There have been only four cases of human infections, and no deaths so far.
As the Journal reported Friday, higher temperatures in the winter combined with rainy weather have caused a national increase in West Nile cases. There have been 693 human cases reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 26 deaths.
In New York City, more than half of the pools that tested positive are located in Staten Island, which is also the site of the city’s only confirmed human case this year. Queens had 62 infected pools, while Manhattan had only two, according to state data.
Suffolk County in Long Island leads the state with 146 pools testing positive, followed by Erie County with 94.
The New York City Department of Health has been spraying pesticides to reduce mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus. Last week, they sprayed pesticide from trucks in targeted parts of Staten Island, and parts of Queens that have had an increase in West Nile activity and increased mosquito populations will be sprayed from Tuesday at 8 p.m. to Wednesday at 6 a.m.
The city Health Department uses a low concentration of synthetic pesticide which it says poses no significant health risks when used properly.