Aug. 8, 2016 By Michael Florio
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will be spraying chemicals in Jackson Heights and Astoria Tuesday night an attempt eradicate mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
Trucks will be spraying from Tuesday at 10 pm through Wednesday 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The spraying will take place between Bowery Bay and 81st Street to the north; Newtown Road, Broadway and 35th Ave to the south; Steinway Street to the west and 92nd Street to the east (see map).
This is part of the Health Department’s three-year, $21 million dollar plan to protect New Yorkers from the Zika virus.
The chemicals are not harmful, according to the Health Department. Nevertheless, residents should take precautions to minimize exposure, as the chemicals can irritate some if sensitive.
The city has been trying to limit the mosquito population for the many years in hopes of controlling the threat of West Nile Virus; however, the more recent threat of the Zika Virus has increased the city’s efforts.
Zika can be transmitted by an infected Aedes species mosquito, and can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, often causing birth defects. Though no cases have reportedly been transmitted in New York, there was a large outbreak in Brazil earlier this year, spreading through South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, causing the city to take extra precautions.
This increased effort comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week that he plans to step up the city’s work in battling Zika.
In the case of rain, the spraying will take place on Wednesday from 10 pm to 6 am Thursday.