New York City mosquitoes, we laugh in the face of your West Nile virus! That is because, according to a recent study at the University of Georgia, West Nile has been slowed down in New York City because we’re talking about New York City. Seriously. Although most diseases travel at steady or even increasingly rapid speeds as they spread, researchers found that West Nile actually slowed in the city during the observed outbreaks thanks to our highly developed urban environment, a/k/a, a high concentration of buildings and concrete. This knowledge may help public health officials plan containment efforts throughout the U.S., though we’re not sure how, exactly. (Put them all in an apartment together?)
“In this particular case,” said researcher Krisztian Magori, “the effect was that the spread of West Nile virus was slowed down by the particular landscape of New York City being highly developed.”
Despite that, NYC.gov has announced that the city will be spraying in prevention of West Nile virus, plus a bonus “aerial larviciding,” in Queens and Brooklyn tonight starting at 8:15 p.m. and continuing until around 6 in the morning. That includes, in Queens, parts of Pomonok, Queensboro Hill, Kissena Park, Murray Hill, Fresh Meadows, Flushing Cemetery, and St Mary’s Cemetery, and in Brooklyn, Greenwood Heights. The pesticide used is called Anvil 10 + 10, which sounds pretty hardcore. Tomorrow night, weather permitting, there will be additional spraying in Queens.
So far, thanks to the anti-West Nile magic of the city, there have only been a few cases of West Nile this summer (in Staten Island), but who wants to chance it? Also, we’d suggest closing windows and running the A.C. tonight if you live in any of those squito-hoods.
[GPB News, NYC.gov]