Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

West Nile Virus Detected in Mosquitoes in Central Park

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

West Nile Virus Detected in Mosquitoes in Central Park

Article excerpt

Local health authorities throughout the New York City area have stepped up surveillance and ordered more spraying of neighbourhoods with insecticide as more birds infected with West Nile virus are identified and as more mosquitoes carrying the virus are found.

In July, the nation's most famous urban park -- Central Park -- was closed and a New York Philharmonic outdoor concert postponed after city officials announced that they had found mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus in Central Park and would spend the night administering insecticide to the 843-acre park.

Brooklyn and Queens have been added to the areas needing spraying with insecticides. New York City recently escalated its efforts further to combat the problem when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said he would ask the state for permission to start aerial spraying on Staten Island. New York City Department of Health spokesman Erich Giebelhaus says the city is in "talking stages" with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, from which permission must be obtained to spray larvicide. The city wants to target some areas, like wetlands, that would be inaccessible to ground spraying, Giebelhaus says.

Nassau County announced that for the first time this summer two dead birds infected with the virus had been found in two communities in the Long Island area. Nassau joins Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, Staten Island, and Queens -- as well as communities in North Jersey and Connecticut -- that have reported similar findings.

In addition, there are signs that the virus has spread out of the New York metropolitan area to other East Coast cities. …

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