NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the mosquito season set to begin in April, the New York City Department of Health met with mosquito experts from around the country to come up with a plan to combat the possible spread of the Zika virus.
According to Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, there have been no known cases of Zika transmissions in New York City, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.READ MORE: New Video Shows Suspected Gunman, Car Used To Flee Scene Of Deadly Bronx Double Shooting
The type of mosquito mostly responsible for spreading the virus is native to Latin America and the Caribbean and does not live in this region, Dr. Bassett noted.
“But we do have a cousin…the Asian tiger mosquito and one thing about that mosquito is that it breeds in very small collections of water,” Dr. Bassett said.READ MORE: Gov. Hochul: No Known Cases Of New COVID Variant 'Omicron' In New York
The health commissioner is urging city residents to eliminate standing water on their property, which could be used as potential breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.
“As people are beginning to look in their backyard and think about how to clean up now that spring is approaching, they need to pay attention to flower pots, bird feeders, bottles, empty cans…” Dr. Bassett said.
Dr. Basset said the city will also increase the number of traps set around the city by 50 percent and use the trapped bugs to analyze and test the local mosquito population.
The Zika virus is the suspected cause of babies in Brazil and other countries being born with abnormally small heads. The virus has also been reported in Mexico, the Caribbean, tropical Asia and parts of southeast Africa.MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2's 11/27 Saturday Morning Update
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this year that pregnant women in New York who have recently traveled to countries impacted by the Zika virus can get free tests for the infection. Nassau University Medical Center, of Long Island, has also opened up a Zika testing clinic for surrounding residents.