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Take precautions against West Nile

ERIE COUNTY — Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein reminded Erie County residents about the dangers of mosquitoes and West Nile virus, after the discovery of two pools of West Nile virus positive mosquitoes.

The pools were collected from gravid traps on July 17 and July 18 and are the first WNV+ mosquito pools collected in Erie County in 2013. To date, no residents have tested positive for West Nile Virus in either Erie County or New York state.

“Adults should use an insect repellent containing 30 – 50 percent DEET, to keep mosquitoes away, while children over two months of age can use a repellant with 10 – 30 percent DEET,” Burstein advised.

“We should be most aware of mosquitoes during the evening hours, when their activity is heightened, and try to wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants, if outside at those times.”

Homeowners can eliminate the risk of mosquitoes’ breeding on their properties by dumping out any standing water, cleaning clogged gutters and changing the water in bird baths and planter bases, every two days, according to Burstein.

Other strategies recommended by the Erie County Department of Health to combat mosquitoes include maintaining swimming pools by chlorinating and filtering; keeping pool covers drained of any standing water; maintaining ornamental ponds by stocking them with fish and using bubblers and fountains, which prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs; turning over containers, buckets, and wading pools, to eliminate standing water; removing used tires from property and repairing window and door screens, as necessary.

For more information, visit the ECDOH at www2.erie.gov/health/.
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