[MEDIAMIXER]-WEST NILE VIRUS,2002 UPDATES-Press Release
Thursday, September 5, 2001
TWO ADDITIONAL NEW YORKERS HOSPITALIZED
WITH WEST NILE VIRUS, AND 1 FATALITY THUS FAR IN 2002.
Spraying Scheduled for Overnight,THURSDAY Sept. 5, in Northern Queens and
Southwestern Brooklyn, Weather Permitting
WNVIRUS.COM ANNOUNCES IT'S CONTINUED 2002 COMPREHENSIVE
WEST NILE VIRUS SURVEILLANCE, PREVENTION AND CONTROL PLAN
WITH HEAVY EMPHASIS ON INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA VIA THE WEB,
LIVE ONSITE/ONLINE PERFORMANCE SERIES,AND LIVE LARVAL SURVEILLANCE
INTERNET CAMERA.WNVIRUS.COM PROJECT BEGAN IN 2000 DUE TO OUR FEAR THAT THIS
VIRUS WOULD SPREAD QUICKLY THROUGH NORTH AMERICA, WHICH IT HAS, TO 28
WNVIRUS.COM ADDS NEW AUDIO DESCRIPTIONS OF MOSQUITO CONTROL SPRAYING
NEW UPDATED AMERICAN [WNV] DISPERSION MAPS. ALSO INTERACT WITH ORIGINAL
AUDIO AND VIDEO
OF PAST SITE-SPECIFIC PERFORMANCES AND INSTALLATIONS IN NYC AREA.
Live Larval Surveillance via the interent[live larvae specimen cams]
Citywide site-specific performance series Underway;
Public is Asked to Report Dead Birds, and to Reduce Mosquito Breeding Sites
Via Forms Provided on WNVIRUS.COM Underway;
Interactive Creative Education Campaign - "WNVIRUS.COM" - Launched
WNVIRUS.COM today unveiled "the networks", revamped, comprehensive West Nile
virus (WNV) prevention and control plan for 2002. The plan is preventive in
orientation and emphasizes interactive multimedia to raise awareness;
reducing breeding sites; surveillance of mosquitoes[live larvae cam], birds,
mammals and humans; and public education through site-specific performance
events,new media,and environments.
DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said, "In the City's four
years experience with West Nile virus (WNV), the last week of August has
tended to be the time when most new infections occur. However, with warmer
temperatures expected, we are not out of the woods yet. All New Yorkers -
especially those over the age of 50 - should continue to take precautions
against mosquitoes, including wearing long sleeves, ensuring screens around
the home are tight fitting and not torn, and consider the use of insect
repellent when outdoors."
"In less than two years, New York City has developed a state-of-the-art
program to protect the City from West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne
diseases, "but this does little to soothe the concerns of wnvirus.com
problem is being viewed locally as a NY state issue, where in reality,the
issues are global.What if vector-borne viruses were to "migrate" to Florida,
and/or other wetland communities in more subtropical climate regions in the
United States,with extremely long breeding seasons where it would be
virtually impossible to control the disease?Well it has. "Since the first
appearance of West Nile virus here in 1999, WNVIRUS.COM has done
considerable research to effectively monitor, control,and disseminate
information about the disease,through public and online live
performances,extreme multimedia,and art installations/environments ",yet the
general public knows so very little about the lifecycles of
vectors,transmission of the disease,and the signs of infection.This is why
we believe the interactive rich-media web site will be heavily viewed and
extremly successful in spreading information of the disease to those whom
might not otherwise be searching for it, and particularily emphasizing the
importance of the impacts of such vector-borne viruses on a global scale.
And more importantly blurring the boundaries between all media by
implementing a unique fusion of the arts with 'real and relevant
issues/content' created to utilize internet delivery technologies.
The various components of the WNVIRUS.COM plan are as follows:
Prevention of Mosquito Breeding
//[new] FORMS FOR REPORTING STANDING WATER[MOSQUITO BREEDING SITES],AND DEAD
BIRD REPORT FORMS TO NOTIFY THE CDC[centers for disease control] OF
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS,HAVE BEEN ADDED TO WNVIRUS.COM//
WNVIRUS.COM will collaborate with elected officials, other agencies and
urban communities to eliminate standing water in empty lots, tire piles and
other containers. This will be augmented by performing audio/visual
performances in potential breeding sites across the city. A public
information campaign will urge residents to reduce breeding sites around
homes and businesses, and to report major potential mosquito breeding sites.
Additionally, to create original artworks, and venues to exhibit original
works[all mediums], that deal with these type of local issues.
The identification of an infected bird or mosquito, or an increase in the
density of dead bird sightings, will trigger a "rapid response." This will
include intensively reducing larval habitats, and increasing larval control
to contain amplification of the virus before it impacts humanhealth.WNVIRUS.com
the portal will function as a launch pad to all relative
vital breaking news stories surrounding the event.
WNVIRUS will monitor mosquitoes citywide by collecting mosquito larvae and
adult mosquitoes to determine their distribution, density and type. In 2001,
WNV will test adult mosquitoes collected in New York City for West Nile and
related viruses in its own laboratories. With testing taking place locally
in 2001, the time it will take to get results should be significantly
reduced, allowing for more rapid public notification and mosquito breeding
reduction activities. Additionally, the public can take part in these
laboratory experiments by viewing the specimens and procedures through the
live larvae interent camera.
WNV will inspect known mosquito breeding sites within our neighborhoods
weekly to determine the presence of mosquito larvae.
Bird and Mammal Surveillance.
Animals will be monitored for infection and illness with a focus primarily
on dead birds, our rooftop pigeon coup access will be instrumental in the
collection of infected birds.. WNV also will monitor disease among
pigeons,and pigeon flyers throughout NY will be asked to report animals with
suspected neurological illnesses to WNV. Additionally,
WNV will ask the public to report the number, location, and types of dead
birds via telephone (1-877-WNV-4NYC) or via WNVIRUS.COM Dead bird reports
will be used as markers for possible West Nile activity.
Birds which have died recently, will be retrieved if DOH can confirm the
location of the bird with the reporting party and can gain access for
retrieval. The public will be advised to safely discard birds that are not
being retrieved by the City. A sample of birds, especially crows and
bluejays, that have died within the 24 hours before reporting, will be
submitted for testing in accordance with NYSDEC and NYSDOH criteria.
Public Education and Community Outreach
The WNV will continue its multi-media WNVIRUS.COM "emergenceNYC" public
education campaign,refering to the emergence of the adult mosquito from his
previous larval confines.. This year, the campaign will include borough
specific calls to action (e.g., "emerge" Staten Island, the Bronx, etc).
Campaign components will include stickers with web adress to be placed in
buses, subways, billboards and sanitation trucks as well as public education
materials (in multiple languages) to be distributed citywide; and radio and
television public service announcements. Brochures and fact sheets in
several languages will be distributed to community-based organizations,
community boards, elected officials, schools, and many other organizations
citywide. The automated West Nile Virus information Line (1-917-781-3929)
will be regularly updated.
In the event of significant human disease risk that may require the
application of pesticides to control adult mosquitoes, accurate and timely
information about mosquito control activities will be provided. WNVIRUS.COM
will provide information about application scheduling, the type of
pesticides being used and how to reduce exposure. Additionally,the public
will be informed about what to do in the event of adverse reactions to
An artist led "WNVIRUS PERFORMANCE PROJECT", will travel to communities to
disseminate information on West Nile virus and related activities.
Adult Mosquito Control
WNV will implement a phased response to surveillance findings that will
expand prevention and control activities in relation to the threat of an
outbreak of human disease. If surveillance indicators suggest that the level
of West Nile viral activity poses a significant threat to human health, the
plan involves considering the use of pesticides that kill adult mosquiitoes.
Because green areas play a role in the amplification of the virus, they may
be priority for spraying in high risk areas.
2001 WNVIRUS.COM Comprehensive Arthropod Surveillance and Control Plan
Appendix: Guidelines for a Phased Response to West Nile Virus Surveillance