Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken announced last Thursday that four new mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, including a sample collected from the Culex pipiens-restuans species in Bridgehampton. Other samples that tested positive were found in Huntington Station, Islip and West Babylon. None of the samples discovered last week tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
To date, 116 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County, and four samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE). No horses have tested positive for mosquito-borne illness in Suffolk County to date this year.
Three Suffolk County residents are confirmed as carrying the West Nile virus.
West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile virus may cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. Symptoms may include fever, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus.
“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” said Dr. Tomarken. “While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”
Dr. Tomarken advises residents minimize outdoor activity between dusk and dawn; wear shoes and socks, as well as long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active; use mosquito repellent, and avoid allowing standing water on your property. To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Suffolk County Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at (631) 852-4270 or visit suffolkcountyny.gov.