Baltimore City Health Department, Maryland Department of Agriculture to Conduct Mosquito Control Activities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Mona Rock: Office: (443) 984-2623, Cell: (410) 375-7763

BALTIMORE, MD (September 10, 2016) – In keeping with Baltimore City’s response plan, the Baltimore City Health Department and Maryland Department of Agriculture will expand mosquito control services in Baltimore City Sunday, due to a public health concern over the potential for mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile virus and Zika virus. There are currently 11 travel-associated Zika cases in Baltimore City.

Mosquito control truck-based spraying will occur tomorrow night, Sunday, September 11th after 7:30 p.m., weather permitting between West Baltimore Street and Frederick Avenue; and Stinson Street to McPhail Street.

Residents in this location, including small children and pets, should remain indoors during the spraying period and for 1-2 hours after spraying. Residents should also close windows and HVAC vents and bring pet dishes, feeders, and children’s toys indoors. Any existing spray exemptions in the area will be temporarily suspended.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we will be conducting mosquito control activities Sunday evening in areas within the Shipley Hill neighborhood and urge residents in the designated area to remain indoors during this spraying period,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “We can all play a part in preventing mosquitoes from breeding by eliminating standing water in our communities. This remains an all hands on deck moment for our city.”

State and local inspectors will be going door-to-door in the area to inspect properties for mosquito breeding sites and will conduct backyard spraying, as needed, to further reduce adult mosquito populations.

Please cooperate with state and local officials who may be in your neighborhood working to protect public health. It is critical that Maryland residents continue to survey their properties and their communities and eliminate or treat mosquito breeding sites, which includes emptying all containers of water around the home and yard.

Residents can take the following steps to help limit the spread of Zika and other mosquito borne diseases:

  • Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing all standing water and treating these areas with larvicide (available in most hardware stores). The mosquitoes that carry the Zika Virus only need the amount of water in a bottle cap to breed.
  • Wear mosquito repellent while outdoors. Safe and effective repellents can be found atwww.epa.gov/insect-repellents. Look for these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, OLE, or PMD.
  • Wear light weight, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • All pregnant women with partners who have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms or not have sex during their pregnancy, even if their partners do not have Zika symptoms or if their symptoms have gone away.
  • All individuals who have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms to protect their sex partners for 8 weeks or 6 months for men who show symptoms.

To learn more about the Zika Virus, including information for women who are, may become pregnant, and their partners, as well as tips to prevent the potential spread of the virus, please visit: http://health.baltimorecity.gov/zika-virus. For information in Baltimore City, please contact the Baltimore City Health Department’s Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-396-4428, http://health.baltimorecity.gov/zika-virus, or 311 and follow us at @BMore_Healthy.

The CDC has additional information including the latest travel guidance, available at: http://www.cdc.gov/zika.

For more information, including: Frequently Asked Questions, 30-second videos on how to control mosquitoes around the home, tips on how to rid your community of mosquito breeding sites, and tips on how to avoid mosquito bites, visit: www.mda.maryland.gov/zika

All Marylanders are encouraged to follow the Department’s Twitter feed @MdAgMosquito that will post unscheduled spray events and other timely information about mosquito control in Maryland.

For more information, call MDA’s Mosquito Control Program at 410-841-5870.

NOTE: This release was updated on September 15, 2016 to correct the number of travel-associated Zika cases in Baltimore City.

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