Mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus were found in Staten Island, the first insects to be discovered with the disease so far this year, according to the Department of Health.
Health officials plan to spray larvicide across the five boroughs after mosquitos with the virus were found in Rossville, Staten Island, though there have been no known cases of people being infected with the virus so far, officials said Monday.
The culex pipiens mosquitoes that were found are a species that are commonly known for spreading the West Nile virus.
Mosquito season in the city typically starts in April and can go through September. The DOH said that it will spray larvicide in marshlands and areas of the city with standing water in an effort to contain the pests.
The agency has 120 surveillance traps placed around the city to detect the virus.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett, urged New Yorkers to protect themselves by removing standing water, wearing insect repellent, and installing screens in their windows. Residents are also encouraged to cover their skin after sundown.
Although not everyone that is infected with the virus becomes ill, they may be at risk for neurological diseases and milder complications that include flu-like symptoms such as fever and fatigue.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pervention reported 19 cases where people were infected as of January 17, 2017. Only one of those cases resulted in a fatality, according to the CDC's website.
For more information about West Nile virus, call 311 or visit nyc.gov.