Call 1-888-364-4723 to receive a free starter kit of mosquito dunks, or email your name and mailing address to [email protected].
To eliminate mosquito breeding sites, the State is distributing 100,000 starter kits of mosquito dunks (larvicide tablets) to residents and business owners to use in water in containers that cannot be emptied on their property and to municipalities to support the initiation of local mosquito control days. Each dunk (or tablet) lasts 30 days.
Aedes mosquitoes breed in containers with clean water. New Yorkers are encouraged to do their part by turning over empty flower pots to prevent water collection. Place mosquito dunks in any container that can collect water that cannot be permantly emptied or moved such as bird baths, fountains, and remove sources of standing water of all sizes, such as old tires, children's toys, plastic containers and even clogged gutters – especially after it rains.
For a free 2-pack of larvicide for private residence use, New Yorkers can call the Zika Information Line at 1-888-364-4723 or email their name and mailing address to [email protected].
For more information on using this larvicide, see Guidance when using Mosquito Dunks® (larvicide).
The state is aggressively monitoring the mosquito population by deploying special mosquito traps to collect and test mosquitoes across the region to identify and respond to potential Zika transmission. The state is deploying traps in 1,000 locations per month.
Wadsworth Laboratory – already a national leader in Zika testing – has expanded its testing capacity to accommodate the additional trapping. The State Department of Health will test 60,000 mosquitoes per month at Wadsworth in Albany.
The State is making available 20,000 free Zika Protection Kits to low-income pregnant women. Each kit includes educational materials, insect repellent, condoms and a starter kit of mosquito dunks to treat standing water that cannot be emptied.
The Zika protection kits complement the state's offering of free Zika testing to all pregnant women who recently traveled to a country with active Zika transmission or have had unprotected sex with a partner who recently traveled to or resides in a country with active Zika transmission. Men who recently traveled or reside in an area with active Zika transmission and have a pregnant partner should use condoms consistently and correctly or abstain from sex throughout the pregnancy.
The State Department of Health continues to offer webinars for health care providers on the Zika virus and the care of pregnant women with possible exposure to Zika. Based on current information, infection with Zika at any point in the pregnancy could place the developing fetus at risk. The effect of Zika exposure at different stages of pregnancy on birth defects is not known.
The state will deploy rapid response teams wherever a case of Zika transmission by an Aedes mosquito is confirmed. The rapid response team will be composed of officials from the State Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Emergency Management to inspect surrounding areas, perform additional treatment and develop a local action plan.
The Commissioner of DOH has issued emergency regulations requiring all local health departments to submit Zika control plans. The 14 high risk counties (including those in NYC) where the Aedes albopictus mosquito is present were required to submit more extensive mosquito control plans specific to trapping, testing, and controlling this type of mosquito. All counties submitted their Zika control plans to the State Department of Health and they have been approved.
A major public awareness campaign targeted to New Yorkers and travelers launched in May and continues across the state.
The public awareness campaign includes:
- Multi-lingual, educational posters, brochures and fact sheets about Zika;
- The Zika Information Helpline: 1-888-364-4723;
- Television, radio and social media ads to raise awareness about Zika; and
- Dedicated Zika Media Campaign website: health.ny.gov/zika
To ensure travelers take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against Zika, the state is working with airports in the target region and across New York State to disseminate print materials and broadcast public service announcements to passengers.