The New York State Department of Health has informed Suffolk County health officials that five more mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. The samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected on September 10 and September 11 from Greenlawn (1), West Islip (1), Jamesport (1), and Farmingville (2). No new mosquito samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) at this time.
This week, Suffolk County reported two human cases of West Nile virus. To date this season, the county has reported 73 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 horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County to date this year.
“We advise residents to reduce their exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans,” said Dr. Tomarken, Suffolk County Health Commissioner.
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.
Individuals, especially those aged 50 or over, or those with compromised immune systems, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Residents are advised to use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents during this season. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Additionally, avoid going outside from dusk to dawn when most mosquitoes are active, wear long sleeves and long pants when night-time activity is unavoidable, eliminate standing water from flowerpots, clogged gutters, recycle bins, birdbaths, toys, and swimming pool and hot tub covers.
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.