FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 23, 2012
Blydenburgh County Park Closes to Nighttime Activities
Following Confirmation of a West Nile Virus Mosquito Sample
Hauppauge, NY – Suffolk Health Commissioner James Tomarken and Parks Commissioner Greg Dawson have taken the precautionary measure of closing Blydenburgh County Park to nighttime activities following the news that a mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile virus. The park will be closed from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and all activities during those hours will be suspended. The Department of Health Services will continue mosquito surveillance at the park and will work closely with the Parks Department to determine if and when nighttime activities may resume.
Overnight campers can choose to be refunded for the days left remaining on their reservations or to move to a different county campground. Campers are advised to call the Suffolk County Parks Department at 631-854-4949. The park will remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but visitors are advised to take precautions to avoid being bit by mosquitos.
To date this year, 30 mosquito samples -- all Culex pipiens-restuans -- and six birds have tested positive for the virus. There have been no human cases reported in the county this year.
West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter through 2011, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Dr. Tomarken asks residents to reduce the mosquito population around homes, by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. The county offers an informative bulletin entitled “Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Illnesses,” which contains tips on personal protection and repellents. To download the brochure, visit http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Portals/0/Documents%20and%20Forms/Health%20Services/Seasonal/Mosquito%20Brochure.pdf
Dead birds found on area properties may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk County at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.
For medical questions related to West Nile virus, call 631-853-3055.