The New York State Department of Health has informed Suffolk County health officials that 11 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. The samples, 10 of Culex pipiens-restuans species and one of the Culex salinarius species, were collected on September 4 and September 5 from West Babylon (1), West Islip (1), Oakdale (1), Holtsville (1), Mattituck (1), Northport (1), Greenlawn (1), Melville (1), and Rocky Point (2). No new mosquito samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) at this time.
To date, Suffolk County has reported 68 mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile virus and six that have tested positive for EEE. Four birds have tested positive for West Nile virus. No humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County to date this year.
“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 their exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”
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. Patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services continues to ask residents to assist in controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water on their property.
Individuals, especially those aged 50 or over, or those with compromised immune systems, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. 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.
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 mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the Department of Health Services’ website.