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Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquito-Borne Disease Information Line: (845) 486-3438




NYS Statewide Mosquito-borne Disease Activity Report 

How To Choose an Insect Repellent (.pdf)
Repellent Search Tool

Frequently Asked Questions
How to Report A Dead Bird


ZIKA STATUS IN DUTCHESS COUNTY:   Currently there are no cases of local Zika-virus transmission.  All cases have been associated with travel to Zika-affected areas.  Neither of the two species of mosquitoes know to transmit Zika have been identified in Dutchess County, and there have been no Zika positive mosquito pools.

Video: Center's for Disease Control & Prevention - Zika 101


Mosquito-Borne Diseases

There are several diseases that can be transmitted by Mosquitoes such as West Nile Virus or rarely Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Travelers may be at risk for other mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Malaria, and Zika which are present in other countries. Healthcare Provider information on Zika Virus is available on our Emergent Health Issues page. 

Mosquito-borne infections can cause serious health implications, varying from mild symptoms treated at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization for care, with the potential for death in rare cases.

Preventing and minimizing exposure to mosquitoes and their bites is the best defense against mosquito-borne illnesses. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Individuals should use insect repellent anytime they are outside.  Keep a can of insect repellent containing DEET or picardin near your front door, in the shed or garage, or even your car.  Read labels carefully for age restrictions and instructions on how to apply.  For the greatest assurance for selecting a safe and effective repellent, select a product registered by the EPA or use their easy search tool.   
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Maintain your property. Keep grass mowed and shrubbery trimmed and maintained. Eliminate stagnant water by cleaning gutters, emptying recycling containers and bins, and disposing of used tires. Install and repair screens: Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tips:


- Frequently Asked Questions -

  1. Do all mosquitoes transmit disease?
    No. Most mosquitoes do not transmit disease. While there are about 70 different species of mosquitoes in New York State, only certain species have been associated with diseases such as West Nile virus.


  2. Where do mosquitoes live and breed?

    Mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist areas, such as standing water. The eggs become larvae that remain in the water until the adults mature and fly off.  Weeds, tall grass and shrubbery provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes.  They can also enter houses through unscreened windows and doors, or broken screens. Many mosquitoes will breed in containers that hold water, such as flowerpots or discarded tires.

  3. When are mosquitoes most active?

    Some mosquitoes are active between dusk and dawn, when the air is calm. However, others will feed at any time of day. Mosquitoes prefer a warm, moist environment. They are active from early summer until late fall in New York State. In southern states that have a warm year-round climate, mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus year round. New Yorkers should take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites when traveling to these states or countries where mosquito-borne diseases are found.

  4. How can I protect myself and my family?

    To reduce the mosquito population around your home and property, reduce or eliminate all standing water:

    • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
    • Dispose of used tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site. Call your local landfill or Department of Public Works to find out how to dispose of them properly.
    • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
    • Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
    • Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.
    • Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
    • Change the water in birdbaths twice weekly.
    • Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
    • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
    • Drain water from pool covers.
    • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
  5. Should we stay indoors?

    It is not necessary to limit outdoor activities. However, you can and should try to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. In addition to reducing standing water in your yard, make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair. You can protect yourself by:

    • Wearing shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active. Permethrin-treated clothing will also reduce your risk of mosquito-bites.
    • Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors when mosquitoes are biting.



A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
Dutchess County Seal