The first group of mosquitos infected with West Nile Virus have been found in the Town of Ramapo

County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced Thursday the New York State Department of Health confirmed the test results for the adult mosquitoes which were collected during the week of July 1 as part of the county’s ongoing West Nile Virus surveillance efforts. As of Thursday, that is the only infected pool found out of the 145 mosquito pools tested in Rockland’s five towns.

“This is the time of the year we expect to see a rise in West Nile Virus activity and the positive results confirm that,” said Dr. Ruppert. “Health Department mosquito control teams will continue to treat all known mosquito breeding sites, including those near these positive mosquito pools.”

She said the county mosquito control program will continue through the summer. Dr. Ruppert reminded county residents to get rid of standing water on their property because mosquitoes can develop in any amount of water that stands for more than four days. Once mosquitoes lay eggs they hatch within a few days.

The health department suggests residents follow these tips to help prevent mosquitoes:

Get rid of any items that can hold water or empty the water out at least once a week.

Drain the water off the cover of unused swimming pools or treat this standing water with Mosquito Dunks®. They contain bacteria that kill mosquitoes in their larval stage in water, before they become flying, biting adults. The dunks are available free of charge at the Health Department, Building D, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. while supplies last. Residents should know the size of their pool.

Drill drain holes in the bottoms of recycling containers, turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use, remove all discarded tires, and make sure that roof gutters drain properly.

Clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.

Make sure all windows and doors have screens in good condition without holes.

An infected mosquito’s bite can spread West Nile Virus, which can cause serious illness. Those 50 years old and over are at highest risk for serious illness.

Reduce the chances of getting bit by:

Minimizing outdoor activities when mosquitoes are active.

Wearing shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active which is usually between dusk and dawn.

Using an insect repellent and following label directions.

Learn more here, or call the Health Department at 845-364-3173.