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From the Desk of Legislator Dave Mejias: June 19, 2009

Protecting Your Home & Family From West Nile Virus

Beginning over a month ago the Nassau County Department of Health and Public Works began mosquito surveillance and control activities for the West Nile Virus. The departments work closely together to help control the spread of mosquito-borne disease. The summer of 2008 saw a sharp increase in the number of confirmed West Nile Virus cases in Nassau County compared to the last five years. While there is no way to predict what 2009 will bring it is best to assume a similar level of activity as 2008. With the steady and at times heavy rainfall we have experienced during the late spring and early summer mosquito populations are expected to increase. The best way for residents to prepare their families and properties to minimize exposure to the virus is by taking the following preventative steps:

Empty standing water from old tires, garbage cans, or any object than can hold water.

Make sure roof gutters drain properly and efficiently and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.

Keep swimming pools chlorinated and their covers free of stagnant water.

Change the water in birdbaths every two or three days.

Keep windows and door screens in good condition and repair ripped or broken ones.

Consider wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and mosquito repellent (according to directions) where mosquitoes are active, especially in the late afternoon and at dawn and dusk.

If you have excessive mosquito problems, stagnant water or drainage problems call the Nassau County Department of Public Works at 572-1166 weekdays from 7:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

For more information concerning West Nile Virus please contact the Health Department Information Line at 227-9700.

For additional information or to report a dead bird you can phone the Nassau County Department of Health at 572-1211, weekdays from 7:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Although dead birds may provide an indication of the presence of West Nile Virus activity in the area, most dead birds will not be collected for laboratory analysis but rather recorded in a database for future reference.

The best way to fight any virus is through prevention. Following these simple recommendations will help prevent the spread of West Nile Virus.