New York City Office of Public Affairs
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 13, 2000
Mindel/Mary Lasher (212) 788-2958
Sandra Mullin, DOH (212) 788-5290
Mindel/Mary Lasher (212) 788-2958
GIULIANI ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE WEST NILE VIRUS
PREVENTION AND CONTROL PLAN
Plan to Eliminate Larvae from City's Storm Drains
Nile Virus Public Education Campaign to Begin
Rudolph W. Giuliani and City officials today unveiled New York City's
comprehensive West Nile virus (WVN) prevention and control plan. The plan
includes larviciding, mosquito, bird and human surveillance activities, and a
public education campaign.
New York City officials joining the Mayor for the announcement were City Council
Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman and City
Council member Walter McCaffrey. Also in attendance were Department of Health (DOH)
Commissioner Neal L. Cohen, M.D.; Mayor's Office of Emergency Management
Director Richard J. Sheirer; Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Commissioner Joel A. Miele, Sr., P.E.; Department of Parks and Recreation
Commissioner Henry J. Stein and Department of Sanitation Commissioner (DOS)
Kevin P. Farrell.
Giuliani said," Over the past several months, the New York City Department
of Health has been working very closely with the New York State Department of
Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayor's Office
of Emergency Management, the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection, the New York City Department of Sanitation and other City, State,
and Federal agencies to develop and implement a citywide plan to help prevent
the return of West Nile virus. This tireless effort has resulted in a
comprehensive plan that will go a long way toward protecting our city from West
Nile or any other mosquito-borne virus."
the week of April 17, and continuing through October, the City will treat storm
drains and other areas of standing water with U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency ( EPA) and New York Sate Department of Environmental Conversation
(DEC)-approved larvicides to help control mosquito breeding and help prevent
mosquito larvae from becoming adult mosquitoes. The initial application will
continue through May, and follow up applications will be administered, as
needed, through the end of October.
Commissioner Cohen said, "Our expectation is that, with an early and
aggressive campaign against mosquitoes that includes the City's larviciding
efforts and the public's contributions through eliminating areas of standing
water where mosquitoes can breed, the need to spray adult mosquitoes will be
greatly reduced. Our intensive surveillance program should provide early warning
signs of any possible return of the virus that might endanger the public."
Health Department will use three larvicides this spring and summer, each of
which has been approved for mosquito control by the EPA and the DEC. These three
larvicides will be placed into storm drains and other significant areas of
standing water to combat the spread of mosquitoes with the West Nile virus.
These product are: Altosid (Methoprene); Vectolex (Bacillus sphaericuss), and
Vectobac (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis). Altosid prevents larval
mosquitoes from becoming adults. Vectolex and Vectobac contain a bacteria which
kills mosquito larvae. All three have been found to be very effective in
controlling mosquito larvae.
Department of Environmental Protection is working with the Health Department to
locate catch basins and potential breeding sites for mosquitoes and has expanded
the use of larvae eating fish at its waste treatment plants. These fish,
commonly called "mosquito fish" or Gambusia affinis, have been used by
the Department of Environmental Protection for the past two years in the City's
waste water treatment plants when evidence is found that mosquito larvae exists.
These hearty fish survive in most water environments, including sewage
treatment, and will last through the winter months. "Mosquito fish"
reproduce every 28 days and can consume up to 230 larvae in one hour.
Commissioner Joel A. Miele said, "Working with the Health Department we're
doing everything we can to help protect the public health."
April 18, the Health Department will propose a resolution to the New York City
Board of Health to declare water accumulations, which can enable mosquitoes to
breed and allow mosquito larvae to develop into adult mosquitoes, a public
nuisance widespread throughout the City, and to require owners and others in
control of property to abate those nuisances.
Clean -Up Effort and Tire Disposal Program
Giuliani said, "Mosquito larvae can grow in as little as a cup of water so
I am asking all New Yorkers to clear out areas of standing water. Unclogging
roof gutters, emptying unused swimming pools, changing bird baths at least once
a week and discarding old tires, buckets and other containers that hold water
will go a long way in protecting the City's health."
Department of Sanitation is participating in a number of measures designed to
eradicate the breeding grounds of mosquitoes including cleaning lots where
debris has been dumped and launching a 'Tire Disposal Program.' Sanitation
Commissioner Kevin Farrell said," Because we know tires serve as breeding
grounds for mosquitoes, we are implementing a Tire Disposal Program. New Yorkers
can bring up to four passengers tires to one of the 59 sanitation garages
located in any of the five boroughs between 8:00am and 4:00pm, Monday though
Friday, excluding holidays. Additional information on the Tire Disposal Program
can be obtained through the Sanitation Department's Action Center at
Education and Outreach Campaign- "Mosquitoes-Proof New York City"
Components of the public education and outreach campaign include:
•Posters placed in buses, on telephone kiosks, and billboards and Sanitation trucks;
•Posters, brochures, and facts sheets (in 11 languages) distributed citywide;
•Radio and television public service announcements, newspaper ads, and an activity book for children;
•Extensive outreach to elected officials community boards, and community groups citywide;
•A special West Nile issue of City Health Information, the Health Department's bulletin for the medical community, will be distributed to health care professional in early May.
Surveillance and Control Plan The
comprehensive surveillance and control plan consists of:
surveillance activities to detect mosquitoes and birds infected with West Nile
•Sentinel bird testing system in which birds located throughout the City will be tested regularly for the presence of West Nile virus;
•Enhanced hospital and laboratory surveillance system to detect human cases.
spraying is needed to prevent or address illness in the human population, EPA
and DEC-approved pyrethroid-based
insecticides would be used, including Scourge (Resmethrin), Anvil
and Agrevo Permanone (Permethrin).
They would be sprayed primarily by truck, but if necessary, also from the air.
The City's early warning systems will detect the spread of West Nile virus in
birds and mosquitoes, and will help direct targeted and effective use of
pesticides, if needed. The public will be notified through public service radio
announcements, the media, the Health Department's Web site, the Health
Department's telephone information line, and outreach to community-based
Health Department has established an automated West Nile information Line, (877)
WNV-4NYC or (877) 968-4692 which New Yorkers can call 24 hours a day,
seven-days-a-week, for information about West Nile virus and how to eliminate
mosquito breeding sites, as well as to report dead birds and areas of standing
water. (New Yorkers who use TTY/TDD can call (212) 788-4947. Weekdays from 9:00
am to 5:00 p.m.) In addition, information concerning West Nile virus, as well as
dead bird and standing water report form, are available on the Health
Department's Web site.
Alternative to spraying pesticides | New York Violated its own Law in spraying
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