Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken announced today that 13 new mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. The samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected on the 9th and 10th of August from Huntington Station (1), Lindenhurst (2), Copiague (2), West Islip (1), Bay Shore (2), Port Jefferson Station (2), Holtsville (1), Setauket (1), and Nesconset (1). In addition, two birds tested positive for 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. This year, Suffolk County has reported 76 confirmed mosquito samples and eight birds testing positive for West Nile virus to date. No humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk this year.
“On World Mosquito Day, we remind residents that there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes around the world and at least 50 different species present in Suffolk County,” said Dr. Tomarken. “Some of these mosquito varieties transmit disease. The Suffolk County Department of Health Services monitors mosquito activity and tests for mosquito-borne diseases in order to obtain an accurate picture of the true incidence and distribution of infected mosquitoes in the county and to inform residents of the need to take precaution.”
To avoid mosquito bites, residents are advised to:
- Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
- Wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active.
- Use mosquito repellent, following label directions carefully.
- Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.
- Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, discarded tires, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, trash cans and rain barrels.
- Download a copy of Suffolk County’s informational brochure “Get the Buzz on Mosquito Protection,” available in English and Spanish, and share it with your community.
Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the Public Health Information Line in Suffolk County at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.
To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.
For further information on West Nile virus, visit the Department of Health Services’ website at http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/PublicHealth/PreventiveServices/ArthropodborneDiseaseProgram/Mosquitoes.aspx