(WKBW release) Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein on Friday reminded Erie County residents about the dangers of mosquitoes and West Nile Virus, following the discovery of a pool of West Nile Virus positive (WNV+) mosquitoes in Amherst.
According to a news release:
The pool, comprised of 50 specimens of Culex pipiens-restuans, was collected from a gravid trap on June 14 and is the first WNV+ mosquito pool collected in the Town of Amherst in 2012 to date.
“With summer here and more people being active outdoors, it’s imperative to take steps to minimize mosquito contact with your skin and decrease the mosquito burden in your immediate area,” said Dr. Burstein. “Use insect repellant containing at least 25% DEET (10% for children) when you can, and wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants especially during the evening hours. There are also ways to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in your yard, including dumping out standing water, cleaning clogged gutters, and changing the water in your bird bath.”
The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) recommends several other strategies to “fight the bite”, including maintaining your pool by chlorinating and filtering; maintaining ornamental ponds by stocking them with fish and using bubblers and fountains; removing used tires from your property; eliminating any stagnant water in tin cans, plastic containers, or any container that holds water; and repairing window and door screens.
Burstein continued, “People at higher risk from mosquito bites are the immune-compromised, the elderly, and the very young. Residents should use common sense when they are outside and be aware of the environments that produce and protect mosquitoes: stagnant, standing water and weeds, tall grass and shrubbery, which provide an outdoor home for mosquitoes. Dress appropriately, use insect repellant, and eliminate or stay away from mosquito-prone areas where you can. Parents should remember to ensure their children are protected too.”