New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday joined city and health officials to demand that Congress take decisive action to combat Zika and provide funding needed to adequately respond to the virus in the U.S.
Officials say 49 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in New York City since April, and one baby has been born with microcephaly due to the mosquito-borne virus. Overall, more than 3,400 at-risk pregnant women have been tested under the city’s Zika action plan.
Most people who tested positive in the nation’s largest city were infected while traveling to Zika-affected areas, with a small minority getting it via sexual transmission.
De Blasio said the city has committed $21 million to protect New Yorkers from Zika, and the group urged Congress to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding.
Federal health officials say there have been 420 Zika cases in New York City and 530 in the state.
To reduce mosquito activity and the risk of the Zika virus, the city health department will spray in certain Manhattan and Queens neighborhoods this week.
From 10 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, pesticide will be sprayed from trucks. The neighborhoods include:
Manhattan: Fort George, Inwood, Sherman Creek, Sugar Hill, Washington Heights. Bordered by Spuyten Duyvil Creek to the north; Harlem River to the east; West 155th Street to the south; and Hudson River to the west. Parts of 10032, 10033, 10034, 10039, 10040
Queens: Auburndale, Bayside, Corona, Flushing, Fresh Meadows, Murray Hill, Pomonok, Queensboro Hill. Bordered by Long Island Rail Road, Delong Street, Sanford Avenue, Kissena Boulevard, Holly Avenue, 46th Avenue, 157th Street, 33rd Avenue to the North; Francis Lewis Boulevard to the East; 48th Avenue, Fresh Meadow Lane, Long Island Expressway to the South; and Grand Central Parkway to the West. Parts of 11354, 11355, 11358, 11361, 11364, 11365, 11367, 11368
The spraying also is aimed at reducing the risk of the West Nile virus.
The city health department said in a release that it remains “cautiously optimistic that Zika virus will not be found in mosquitoes in New York City.”
Some precautions to minimize direct exposure:
— Stay indoors during spraying.
— Air conditioners may remain on, but to reduce exposure, set the air conditioner vent to the closed or recirculating position
— Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas
— Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water.
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