City to Spray Pesticides in Queens to Combat West Nile Virus

By Jess Wisloski on July 30, 2013 8:43am 

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 The Department of Health was set to spray in 11 Queens zip codes to keep the incidents of West Nile virus at bay.
Queens Pesticide Spraying Planned
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FLUSHING — The Health Department will spray pesticides in several Queens neighborhoods Tuesday evening after finding mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus, officials said.

The spraying will target 11 zip codes — including parts of Maspeth, Ridgewood, Middle Village,  Rego Park, Flushing, Pomonok, Fresh Meadows, Murray Hill, Kissena Park and Queensboro Hill — from 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday, the Health Department said.

"We use it as a last resort when it is not possible to prevent West Nile virus transmission using other methods of control," said Levi Fishman, spokesman for the Department of Health. 

West Nile virus, which is transmitted through mosquitoes that have bitten birds that carry the virus, can be deadly and cause encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, and meningitis, or swelling of the brain lining and spinal cord.

Health officials said the pesticide, Anvil 10+10, posed "no significant risks to human health" but still warned residents to limit exposure in the following ways:

— Stay indoors whenever possible, and especially if suffering from asthma or respiratory issues.

— Close outer vents to air conditioning units or use a recirculate option.

— Bring children's toys, clothes and play equipment inside during spraying, and scrub them with soap and water before using if they are exposed.

— Wash anything exposed to pesticides with soap and water, including produce.

If it rains Tuesday night, the spraying will be delayed one day.

Report standing water, which is a violation of the city's health code, by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov.

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