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Information on La Crosse Virus
Release Date: September 07, 2006

Rare Mosquito-Borne Virus Found in New York

News Release 


On August 29, 2006, the Nassau County Department of Health confirmed the presence of La Crosse virus in Nassau County, New York. The virus was detected in a sample of mosquitoes (Aedes vexans) collected in Woodbury on the 3rd of August.  This is the first time La Crosse virus has appeared in Nassau County . The New York Department of Public Works (DPW), Mosquito Control Unit is conducting additional surveillance in those areas where positive pools of mosquitoes have been found and applying larvicide, when necessary.

La Crosse virus, a rare viral disease, is usually spread by infected Aedes triseriatus (Treehole Mosquito) and is more common in the Midwestern states and some of the Southeastern states.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 75 cases of La Crosse are reported nationwide and most cases occur in children under the age of 16. General symptoms include fever, vomiting, stiff neck, headaches and lethargy. In rare cases, the virus can develop into encephalitis, which can cause death. Fortunately, mosquito season runs from July through September, meaning that as the temperatures start dropping, mosquito breeding slows down.

The La Crosse virus can be prevented by taking the following precautions:
  • Remove any unnecessary containers from the property that may create mosquito breeding habitats such as flower pots/trays, tires, toys, boats and tarps
  • Keep window and door screens in good repair
  • Avoid exposure to mosquitoes at their peak times of activity (dusk and dawn)
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and mosquito repellent (according to directions) when outdoors

Please visit the following links for additional information regarding La Crosse virus in New York and general information about the virus:

http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/westnile.html
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/arbor/lacfact.htm
http://www.astdhpphe.org/infect/lacenceph.html

The Sussex County Division of Health, Office of Mosquito Control and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has thus far reported the absence of West Nile virus or any other mosquito-borne viral disease in the Sussex area for the 2006 season. The Sussex County Office of Mosquito Control is continuously inspecting and treating known mosquito habitats throughout the County. Through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, we utilize a combination of control strategies, including surveillance, source reduction, larvaciding, adulticiding (only when and if necessary), biological control, and education.

For more information about our Integrated Pest Management Program, please contact the Sussex County Office of Mosquito Control at 973-948-4545 or visit our website at http://www.sussex.nj.us/mosquito.

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