NEW YORK CITY — State officials will drop larvicide tablets into standing water in the city's subway system to help prevent the spread of Zika following news about the virus spreading in Miami, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
The treatment will be similar to tablets the Health Department has been dropping into marshland to treat mosquito breeding grounds. The state will also hand out more larvicide tablets to homeowners and provide additional Zika protection kits to pregnant women at health and family planning centers, officials said.
“The Zika virus remains a dangerous public health threat, and New York State continues to pursue every possible measure to combat it,” Cuomo said.
“By enlisting the cooperation of state agencies and New Yorkers, we are taking aggressive action to help reduce the prevalence of mosquito breeding grounds across the state and stop this disease at its source. As the Zika situation continues to evolve, we will remain vigilant and strengthen our prevention efforts to safeguard the public health and safety of all New Yorkers.”
Mosquitos breed in stagnant water like marshland or large puddles.
The virus has not been spread locally in New York, officials said, though one infant has been born with microcephaly in the city. The disease can occur in babies of mothers who are infected with Zika while pregnant.
There have been 414 cases of the virus found in the city, the vast majority of which were travel-related and a small number sexually transmitted.