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Press Release: West Nile Virus Detected on Fire Island - FINS press release

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  • powder_junky
    Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:30 PM Subject: FINS Press Release: West Nile Virus Detected on Fire Island Fire Island National Seashore News Release Release
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 2010
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      Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:30 PM
      Subject: FINS Press Release: West Nile Virus Detected on Fire Island


      Fire Island National Seashore News Release


      Release Date: August 31, 2010
      Contact: Paula Valentine
      Phone: 631-687-4759


      Increased Vigilance for West Nile Virus on Fire Island WNV Detected in One Mosquito Sample Collected at Watch Hill

      Fire Island National Seashore announced today that a sample of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus (WNV) has been found on Fire Island.  The National Park Service collected the mosquitoes on August 20 from a light trap at the Watch Hill employee housing area.

      Residents, visitors and staff are advised to avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active (1 hour before sunset through midnight). Wear protective clothing (shoes, socks, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and a hat) and use an effective insect repellent, such as one containing at least 30% DEET. Non-DEET repellents (e.g. herbal-based sprays) are also effective. (Use much less repellent for children; DEET should only be used with extreme caution on children under age 3.)  People most at risk of becoming ill from West Nile virus are those over 50 years of age or whose immune system is impaired.  Such people are advised to stay away from areas with mosquitoes.

      The WNV-infected mosquitoes were from a trap set by the Park as part of its weekly monitoring program.  Testing was done by the New York State Department of Health, Arthropod-Borne Disease Program, in Albany.  This program is a collaborative effort between the Park and Suffolk County Department of Health Services, which announced the positive results on August 31.  The freshwater Culex species of mosquitoes in the pool that tested positive for WNV is not thought to generate a major human health concern, although this species does potentially bite people, and several human cases of WNV have been documented in Nassau and Suffolk counties this year. No WNV-infected dead birds have been found this year in Fire Island National Seashore.

      The National Park Service works closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Suffolk County Vector Control, and local Fire Island and Long Island municipalities to determine the best course of action to protect residents, visitors and employees of the Seashore.  When threats to human health (such as the presence of West Nile virus) occur, actions to protect the public may include control methods such as applying larvicide or spraying.
      The public will be notified 24 hours in advance of any spray event.

      Information on the date and exact location of any spraying can be found on the Suffolk County web site at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health or by calling 631-852-4939.  Suffolk County Vector Control is currently authorized to spray within the Fire Island communities using ultra low volume backpack or truck-mounted sprayers.

      The park is continuing its surveillance program to monitor the severity and extent of West Nile virus in the Seashore. As per the Parks standard operation procedures, there will be an amplified surveillance in the area where West Nile virus has been detected.

      Mosquitoes can transmit both West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) from an infected bird to humans and other animals.
      However, mosquitoes are a natural part of a healthy salt marsh ecology. The larvae and adults provide food for many kinds of wildlife, including other insects, fish, birds, and bats. Some measures taken to control mosquitoes, such as spraying insecticides, can adversely affect non-target organisms, possibly affecting fish and other species living in the wetlands.
      Therefore, any actions taken to protect human health through the control of mosquitoes must be weighed very heavily. Suffolk County Vector Control reports that the materials and techniques they use are thoroughly reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and Suffolk County in order to minimize adverse impacts on fish and wildlife species or groundwater.

      For general information on West Nile virus, please contact your local health department.  Information can also be obtained from the CDC, New York State or Suffolk County WNV web sites, or one of the park visitor centers.
      For more information about Fire Island National Seashores mosquito monitoring program, visit the parks web site: http://www.nps.gov/fiis, or contact Mike Bilecki, Chief of Resource Management at 631 687-4760, or Jordan Raphael, Park Biologist, at 631-687-4769.

      If you need further information or have questions for the park, please contact our headquarters at 631-687-4750.

                                      
      Paula S. Valentine
      Public Affairs
      Fire Island National Seashore
      120 Laurel Street, Patchogue NY 11772
      631-687-4759, 631-774-0520 (cell)
      paula_valentine@...
      www.nps.gov/fiis
    • powder_junky
      Additional Evidence of West Nile Virus on Fire Island WNV Detected in Mosquito Sample Collected near Fire Island Pines Fire Island National Seashore announced
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 21, 2010
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        Additional Evidence of West Nile Virus on Fire Island
        WNV Detected in Mosquito Sample Collected near Fire Island Pines


        Fire Island National Seashore announced today that a second sample of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus (WNV) has been found on Fire Island. The National Park Service collected the mosquitoes on August 30 from a light trap at the Carrington Tract, the federal land just west of the community of Fire Island Pines. An earlier sample had been collected on August 20 from a light trap at the Watch Hill employee housing area. 


        Residents, visitors and staff are advised to avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active (1 hour before sunset through midnight). Wear protective clothing (shoes, socks, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and a hat) and use an effective insect repellent, such as one containing at least 30% DEET. Non-DEET repellents (e.g. herbal-based sprays) are also effective. (Use much less repellent for children; DEET should only be used with extreme caution on children under age 3.) People most at risk of becoming ill from West Nile virus are those over 50 years of age or whose immune system is impaired, and are advised to stay away from areas with mosquitoes.

        The WNV-infected mosquitoes were from a trap set by the Park as part of its weekly monitoring program. Testing was done by the New York State Department of Health, Arthropod-Borne Disease Program, in Albany. This program is a collaborative effort between the Park and Suffolk County
        Department of Health Services, which announced the positive results on September 14. The freshwater Culex species of mosquitoes in the pool that tested positive for WNV is not thought to generate a major human health concern, although this species does potentially bite people.

         

        This is the second sample of WNV-infected mosquitoes found on Fire Island during the past month.  A sample collected from a trap at Watch Hill on August 20 was also found to be positive.  According to New York State Department of Health, as of September 13, 2010, 14 human cases of WNV have been documented in Suffolk County, and 37 human cases of WNV, including 2 fatalities, have been documented in Nassau County. No WNV-infected dead birds have been found this year in Fire Island National Seashore.


        The National Park Service works closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Suffolk County Vector Control, and local Fire Island and Long Island municipalities to determine the best course of action to protect residents,
        visitors and employees of the Seashore. When threats to human health (such as the presence of West Nile virus) occur, actions to protect the public may include control methods such as applying larvicide or spraying.

        The public will be notified 24 hours in advance of any spray event. Information on the date and exact location of any spraying can be found on the Suffolk County web site at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health or by calling 631-852-4939. Suffolk County Vector Control is currently authorized to spray within the Fire Island communities using ultra low volume backpack or truck-mounted sprayers. A ground spraying treatment is scheduled for September 16 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. along all walks in the community of Fire Island Pines. At this time, no spraying has been authorized for the Carrington Tract, and the area has not been closed to the public.

        The park is continuing its surveillance program to monitor the severity and extent of West Nile virus in the Seashore. As per the Park's standard operation procedures, there will be an amplified surveillance in the area where West Nile virus has been detected. When certain conditions exist, the spraying for adult mosquitoes on federal land, the application of larvicide to mosquito breeding grounds, and/or the closure of park areas is prescribed. These actions are triggered by the detection of more than one pool of infected mosquitoes (a pool is defined as a sample of up to 50 mosquitoes, for one given trap), by detection of disease in both mosquitoes and birds, or in increasing numbers of infected birds. These actions will be implemented after consultation with appropriate agencies.

        Mosquitoes can transmit both West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) from an infected bird to humans and other animals. However, mosquitoes are a natural part of a healthy salt marsh ecology. The larvae and adults provide food for many kinds of wildlife, including other insects, fish, birds, and bats. Some measures taken to control mosquitoes, such as spraying insecticides, can adversely affect non-target organisms, possibly affecting fish and other species living in the wetlands. Therefore, any actions taken to protect human health through the control of mosquitoes must be weighed very heavily. Suffolk County Vector Control reports that the materials and techniques they use are thoroughly reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and Suffolk County in order to minimize adverse impacts on fish and wildlife species or groundwater.

        For general information on West Nile virus, please contact your local health department. Information can also be obtained from the CDC, New York State or Suffolk County WNV web sites, or one of the park visitor centers. For more information about Fire Island National Seashore's mosquito monitoring program, visit the park's web site: http://www.nps.gov/fiis.  If you need further information or have questions for the park, please contact our headquarters at 631-687-4750.


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