July 12 was Mosquito Control Day in Putnam County

July 12 was Mosquito Control Day in Putnam County. Public Health Sanitarian Mike Luke shows Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Health Commissioner, right, and Eric Gross, left, the mosquito larvae he had collected from a storm drain. One had developed into an adult flying mosquito in the jar in just a few short days. That is why it is so important for residents to dump all standing water.

The health department is deploying mosquito traps around the county and will send samples for testing at the NYS Wadsworth Lab in Albany. Two questions need to be answered: What mosquitos are in Putnam and what diseases, if any, do they carry? The only known transmitter of Zika virus is the the Aedes aegypti and it has never been found in Putnam. The Asian Tiger mosquito, the Aedes albopictus, has only been captured once here back in 2006, but it is still questionable whether or not it can transmit the Zika virus.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell reminds everyone that public support is an important and necessary part of any mosquito control program. Mosquito Control Day is a call to action for residents to dump standing water on their property now—and weekly throughout the summer, especially after a rainfall. Personal protection, in the form of mosquito repellant with DEET, is also highly advised. The event was videotaped. To see a recap of the event go to: https://youtu.be/WeOpf39PCJw

July 12 Set as Mosquito Control Day in Putnam;

July 12 Set as Mosquito Control Day in Putnam;

Zika Education Bags Arrive at Town Halls

BREWSTER, NY—Tuesday, July 12, has been designated “Mosquito Control Day” by County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health, calling residents to action to dump all standing water on their property. Zika “education bags” are being delivered to local town offices and will be available for pick-up next week. Each bag contains information about mosquito control and Zika virus, and two mosquito “dunks.” These donut-shaped mosquito control products are made from a biological larvicide that kills mosquitoes before they are old enough to bite. A limited number of free bags, which also include a sample DEET wipe, are available for Putnam County residents.

“Public support is an important and necessary part of any mosquito control program,” said County Executive Odell. “Residents should check their yards and dump all standing water that can be removed. If the water cannot be easily emptied, consider using a mosquito dunk. This will help reduce the mosquito population.” County Executive Odell, together with Town supervisors, has been working with the health department to plan and provide the latest guidance about reducing the potential for local spread of the Zika virus in Putnam County.

“Another crucial strategy is to prevent mosquito bites,” said Dr. Neisheiwat. “Apply an EPA- approved insect repellant (such as those containing DEET), and dress in long sleeves and pants which may be unpleasant on hot and humid summer days. Fortunately the mosquito which could prove to be a local carrier of the Zika virus is not currently in Putnam.”

The Zika bags can be picked up at the following town hall locations, during their usual business hours, as long as supplies last:

Carmel, 60 McAlpin Avenue, Mahopac, NY 10541; Phone:  845-628-1500

Kent, 25 Sybil’s Crossing, Kent Lakes, NY 10512; Phone: 845-225-3943

Patterson, 1142 Route 311, Patterson, NY 12563; Phone: 845-878-6500

Philipstown, 238 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516; Phone: 845-265-3329

Putnam Valley, 265 Oscawana Lake Road, Putnam Valley, NY 10579; Phone: 845-526-2121

Southeast, 1360 Route 22, Brewster, NY 10509; Phone: 845-279-2196

 

A limited supply is also available at the Putnam County Department of Health, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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First Case of Zika Virus Is Confirmed in Putnam County

BREWSTER, NY—One Putnam County resident has been confirmed positive for Zika virus and a second additional case is being tested, announced the Putnam County Department of Health today. Both residents had recently travelled out of the country. The current case count in New York State is 16 confirmed infections.

“We are working with our local physicians and the New York State Department of Health to monitor and test residents with recent travel to a Zika-affected area,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D., Interim Commissioner of Health. “Symptoms of Zika infection are usually mild. Male travelers without symptoms do not require testing. However, all pregnant women—with or without symptoms—who have travelled to a Zika-affected region should be tested, because of a link to microcephaly or other birth defects.”

Zika virus, which is spread by infected mosquitos, has been appearing around the continental United States, mostly in travelers who have visited a Zika-affected area. One lone case in Texas is being investigated in a sexual partner of a traveler from one of the affected areas.

The situation regarding Zika virus has been changing as new information develops. The Centers for Disease Control have set up a dedicated website at cdc.gov/zika and the New York State Department of Health has established a Zika Information Line: 1-888-364-4723.

Testing is currently not available through commercial laboratories. Residents who have travelled to an area with Zika infection should contact their personal healthcare provider who will work with the

Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) to facilitate the proper testing procedure through the NYSDOH laboratory at Wadsworth Center. Wadsworth is one of only three state laboratories in the country equipped to perform the screening and confirmatory tests of Zika antibodies and other related viruses.

To date local transmission of Zika infection has been identified in 30 countries and territories,

including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Further spread in the region may occur. Prior to 2015, outbreaks of the virus had occurred only in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Last May the first confirmed cases were reported in Brazil.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, www.facebook.com/RunWalkPutnam, www.instagram.com/PutnamHealthNY and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

UPDATE: Free Zika Testing Expanded to Include Pregnant Women Travelers Without Symptoms

UPDATE: Free Zika Testing Expanded to Include Pregnant Women Travelers Without Symptoms

BREWSTER, NY—Free advanced testing for Zika virus infection has been expanded by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Now pregnant women without symptoms, who travelled to the areas affected by the Zika virus, can take advantage of this free testing. Previously only pregnant women with symptoms and a travel history to the areas were eligible.

“This expanded testing makes good clinical sense,” said Putnam County’s Interim Health Commissioner, Michael Nesheiwat, MD. “Because symptoms of Zika are usually mild they may go unnoticed. For pregnant women and their developing babies the results could be severe, given the link to microcephaly.”

Testing continues for all others with symptoms who have travelled to the affected areas. The procedure to be tested remains the same: residents should visit their personal healthcare provider who will work with the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) to facilitate the proper testing procedure through the NYSDOH laboratory at Wadsworth Center. Wadsworth is one of only three state laboratories in the country equipped to perform the screening and confirmatory tests of Zika antibodies and other related viruses. The NYSDOH Zika information line is 1-888-364-4723.

This public health emergency continues to evolve. The CDC is now recommending that pregnant women abstain from sex or utilize protection for the duration of their pregnancies, if their male partner has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika transmission.

Further information on Zika virus is available at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, www.facebook.com/RunWalkPutnam, www.instagram.com/PutnamHealthNY and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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Travelers with Zika Symptoms Are Eligible for Free Testing; Free Information Hotline Established

Travelers with Zika Symptoms Are Eligible for Free Testing;

Free Information Hotline Established

BREWSTER, NY—Putnam County residents who have traveled to areas where Zika virus infection is ongoing—and who have symptoms—can take advantage of free advanced testing by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Testing is currently not available through commercial laboratories. Symtomatic residents can visit their personal healthcare provider who will work with the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) to facilitate the proper testing procedure through the NYSDOH laboratory at Wadsworth Center. Wadsworth is one of only three state laboratories in the country equipped to perform the screening and confirmatory tests of Zika antibodies and other related viruses.

“We urge any county resident who has traveled to one of the infected areas and has symptoms of Zika virus infection to visit their doctor promptly,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “A New York State Department of Health Zika virus information line has also been established,” she added. The number is 1-888-364-4723.

“Symptoms of Zika virus infection are usually mild,” explained Putnam County’s Interim Health Commissioner, Michael Nesheiwat, MD. “Fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, or red eyes, are common ones that usually begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The bigger problem appears to be a link to microcephaly, a birth defect that results from stunted brain development,so the infection is of utmost concern for pregnant women.” Symptoms can last from several days to one week. Severe infection requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare.

To date local transmission of Zika infection has been identified in at least 14 countries and territories, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean, and further spread in the region is considered likely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update their travel notices accordingly at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

All travelers to any of these areas should make prevention the highest priority. Wear long sleeves and pants, and use repellant products registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), carefully following the directions. Pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant should consider postponing travel to these regions. The mosquito that carries the Zika virus is an aggressive, daytime biting variety.

Confirmed Zika virus infection cases have been identified in the continental U.S., including New York State. No local transmission by mosquitoes has occurred in this country, but education and surveillance efforts are being enhanced. Prior to 2015, outbreaks of the virus had occurred only in areas of Africa, Southeast Asian and the Pacific Islands. Last May the first confirmed cases were reported in Brazil.

The Zika virus cannot be passed on through casual person-to-person contact. The CDC has confirmed a case in Texas of Zika virus infection through sexual transmission. The situation regarding Zika virus is changing rapidly as new information develops.

Zika virus infection is transmitted by the same Aedes mosquito that carries dengue and chikungunya virus, which made headlines last year. This is a tropical mosquito that has trouble surviving in winter weather. The PCDOH and the NYSDOH plan to monitor mosquitos in the Hudson Valley when the warmer weather returns. Only one lone mosquito of this species has been detected in Putnam County since 1999 when surveillance began. Surveillance will continue, as well as enhanced testing of other species for Zika virus.

Further information on Zika virus is available at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, www.facebook.com/RunWalkPutnam, www.instagram.com/PutnamHealthNY and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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For more information:

Frequently Asked Questions about Zika Virus

https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/

 

Travel Notices for Affected Areas

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices