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West Nile Virus-Positive Mosquito Pools in Massapequa

County to Conduct Ground Spraying Exercises

The Nassau County Department of Health has announced the isolation of West Nile virus (WNV) from 16 additional mosquito pools in Nassau County. Three are from pools in Massapequa and one is in Wantagh. The new findings bring the total to 30 mosquito pools positive for West Nile virus in Nassau County this year.

The latest samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected on July 20 in West Hempstead, Valley Stream and Lakeview, July 21 in Massapequa Park, Massapequa Preserve (2 pools), Wantagh and Merrick, July 22 in Glen Cove (2 pools), July 23 in East Hills, Mineola, Garden City, East Garden City, Westbury and Old Westbury. The test results were confirmed by the New York State Department of Health.

To date, one human has tested positive for West Nile virus in Nassau County this year.

Department of Health and Public Works officials said they will continue their mosquito control efforts by inspecting breeding sites and, when necessary, applying larvicide. Mosquito surveillance will continue at 42 trap sites located throughout the County, and will be intensified in those communities where positive mosquito pools were identified. The county is now making preparations for ground spraying in targeted areas of the County.

Limited Ground Spraying Schedule

After consultation with the Nassau County Department of Health, the Nassau County Department of Public Works will begin ground spraying in parts of Nassau County to help control mosquitoes, which may be carrying the West Nile virus.

Recent surveillance data has demonstrated an increased threat of West Nile virus. Experts from the New York State Department of Health have advised Nassau County that the risk to the public’s health warrants the application of adulticide to control mosquitoes in certain areas of the County. Nassau County will also continue our larvicide mosquito control program and remind residents to continue to take personal protective measures.

Areas to be sprayed by truck will include sections of the following communities: Massapequa, Merrick, Freeport, Roosevelt, Valley Stream, North Valley Stream, Elmont, Seaford, Wantagh and North Massapequa. The ground spraying will be conducted within a one-mile radius of our mosquito surveillance trap. The areas of detail are included in the attached maps.

Weather permitting, the planned schedule for truck spraying in the Massapequa area is as follows:

Sections of Wantagh, North Wantagh, Levittown, Seaford and North Massapequa: Monday, August 9th, 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Alternate dates: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, August 10th, 11th or 12th, 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Scourge is a pesticide containing resmethrin and piperonyl butoxide. Resmethrin is a man-made pyrethroid insecticide that can also be found in other pesticide products used indoors and on pets to control ticks and other insects, such as fleas and ants. Piperonyl butoxide does not directly kill insects on its own, but acts to increase the ability of resmethrin to kill insects. These active ingredients are dissolved in a petroleum solvent.

The chance of experiencing any health effects from the use of Scourge to control mosquitoes is quite low. As with any pesticide, individuals may want to reduce or eliminate exposure. Some particularly sensitive individuals may possibly experience short-term effects such as eye, skin, nose or throat irritation or breathing problems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) do not require relocating or taking special precautions during mosquito control spraying. Individuals, especially pregnant women and children, should remain inside during the spraying and for about 30 minutes afterwards. In addition, individuals may minimize exposure by:

• Keep windows and doors shut, setting air conditioners to re-circulate if able. Turn window fans off.

• Keeping children’s toys indoors.

• Keeping pets indoors, as well as their food, water dishes and toys.

• Cover fishponds during the spray period.

Since the effects of the ground spraying dissipate in a few hours, it is not necessary to wash off outdoor furniture or playground equipment before use, although doing so will not diminish the effectiveness of the pesticide applied.

Call the West Nile Virus Spray Hotline at 1-888-844-8657, on the days that spraying is scheduled, between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. or visit the Nassau County Department of Health website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/or the Nassau County website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/.