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Parts Of Upper West Side To Be Sprayed For West Nile Virus

'We Expect To Have Quite A Number Of Human Cases This Year'
Mosquitoes (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Mosquitoes (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Parts of Manhattan will be sprayed on Friday to combat the spread of West Nile Virus.

The city health department said a ground spraying of the pesticide Anvil will help reduce mosquito activity.

WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reports

“It’s the same virus that we’ve seen in previous years but our concern is because the mosquito populations are greater than they have been in the past and because there’s more virus in the city than there has been in the past, that we would have more human cases than we’ve had in the past. So it is important for people to take precautions, especially now. This is the peak time for West Nile,” New York City health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

The spraying is scheduled for early Friday from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. between West 58th and West 97th Streets from West Drive in Central Park to West End Avenue.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

City health officials said the pesticide does not pose significant health risks, but advise people to stay indoors during the spraying to minimize direct exposure.

There have been 13 cases of West Nile reported in New York State so far this year, including the deaths of two elderly people.

The health department said it expects that there will be a big jump in the number of people infected with West Nile coming in the next few weeks.

“We always have more cases that are recognized and reported to us as we go from August into September, so we know we’ll have more cases this year,” Farley told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

“I can’t say how many human cases we’re going to have this year compared to previous years, but based upon what we know about mosquitoes and based upon what we know about the virus, we expect to have quite a number of human cases this year in New York City,” Farley said.

Farley said the city has been on top of the exploding mosquito population this year in an effort to minimize the impact of the virus.

“We have an increased risk of West Nile this year compared to previous years and so we are concerned. We are doing additional spraying and additional application of larvicide to reduce the mosquito population,” Farley told Lamb.

Farley said there are some things all residents can do to limit exposure to mosquitoes.

“People should be taking precautions so that they’re less likely to be bit by mosquitoes that carry West Nile. That’s limiting your time outdoors in the evening hours when they might be bit and covering up so that they have less exposed skin and using insecticide,” Farley told Brooks.

Multiple sprayings in the other four boroughs have already been completed.

Are you concerned about the increased number of cases of West Nile Virus reported this year? Have you made changes to limit your exposure to mosquitoes? Share your comments below.