Governor Andrew Cuomo is launching an aggressive public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers on the dangers of the Zika Virus.
As part of the campaign, a public service announcement has begun running in English and Spanish on more than 40 television and 100 radio stations statewide and will continue for the duration of the mosquito season, which ends in September.
Additionally, billboards and informational posters in subways and on buses will be utilized, digital advertisements will be displayed on travel-related websites and New York State has established a Zika Information Helpline (1-888-364-4723), as well as a dedicated website to provide information directly to residents.
Already, more than 7,000 larvicide tablets have been distributed to eliminate Aedes mosquitoes potentially carrying the virus. Additionally, New York City and the 57 other counties in New York have all received approval from the state Department of Health on local Zika action plans.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito in South and Central America. The virus can also be sexually transmitted. Although Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are not present in New York, a related species named Aedes albopictus is active in the downstate region. Scientists have not yet determined if Aedes albopictus – the type in New York – transmits Zika. There are 70 different species of mosquito in New York State and Aedes albopictus make up just three to five percent of the total population. Mosquito season in New York runs from April through September.