For Immediate Release Media Contact: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
July 21, 2010 (516) 869-7794
TNH Supervisor Jon Kaiman Urges Residents to Take Protective Measures Against West Nile and Rabies
North Hempstead, NY--In the wake of a recent report that a New Hyde Park resident has become the first individual in the state to contract the West Nile infection, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board urge residents to take extra precautions to protect themselves and their families against this potentially-deadly virus.
“As we enjoy the summer and all the outdoor activities we should remain mindful of safety measures we can take to avert lurking dangers present both in our immediate and general environment,” Supervisor Kaiman said.
News of the state’s first infected individual accompanied reports by the Nassau County Department of Health of an uptick in West Nile viral activity on Long Island and in New York City. So far this year, the Health Department has identified seven pools in Nassau County that tested positive for West Nile.
Nassau County has no plans to spray for adult mosquitoes at this time, officials said.
Because West Nile virus is present throughout New York State and beyond, and the primary carrier in Nassau County is “the house mosquito” which, according to experts, does not fly more than 200 feet from its breeding site, residents are urged to continue to take these precautions for their protection:
- Remove or empty standing water from children’s outdoor toys, flower pots, garbage cans, pails, old tires, or any object that can hold water.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly; 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.
- Install window and door screens and keep them in good repair.
- Consider wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and mosquito repellent (according to directions) if outdoors when mosquitoes are active, especially in the late afternoon and evening hours.
- Decorative ponds and water features should be circulated or chlorinated if they do not contain fish to prevent mosquito breeding.
In a separate but related development, Supervisor Kaiman—prompted by a number of calls to the Town by residents expressing concerns about raccoons on their properties—urge residents to be cautious about coming into contact with the animals, which are often vectors for rabies.
Rabies can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected raccoon, Nassau County Health Department officials said. If you suspect a raccoon is rabid—typically characterized by aggressiveness and heavy salivation—avoid or destroy the animal and contact local health officials.
While Town of North Hempstead Animal Control has no authority to trap or otherwise control raccoons, following are some options available to residents concerned the presence of the pesky critters:
- Remove artificial food sources such as pet food and bird feeds
- Protect children at play by covering sandboxes and making sure they wash their hands after outdoor activity;
Call the Nassau County Department of Health if:
- A person or pet has come into contact with a raccoon.
- If you discover a raccoon in your living space call a Nuisance Wildlife Trapper. . A list of approved trappers in your area can be had by contacting the NYSDEC at 631-444-0345 or the Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9455
For mosquito, stagnant water, or drainage problems, call the Nassau County Department of Public Works at: (516) 572-1166, weekdays from 7:45 am to 3:30 pm.
For additional information on West Nile virus activity, contact Nassau County Department of Health at: (516) 572-1211, weekdays from 7:45 am to 3:30 pm. Additional West Nile virus information may be found on the Nassau County Department of Health website at http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Health/westnile.html