July 24, 2012
Southaven County Park Closes to Nighttime Activities
Two New Mosquito Samples Test Positive for West Nile Virus
Hauppauge, NY – Suffolk Health Commissioner James Tomarken and Parks Commissioner Greg Dawson have taken the precautionary measure of closing Southaven County Park in Shirley to nighttime activities following news that a mosquito sample collected in the park on July 10th tested positive for West Nile virus. An additional mosquito sample collected in Farmingville on July 10th tested positive for West Nile virus.
Southaven County Park will be closed from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and all activities during those hours will be suspended. Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown also remains closed from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., following yesterday’s news that a mosquito sample taken from the park tested positive for West Nile virus. The Department of Health Services will continue mosquito surveillance at both parks 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, the total number of mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County is 32. There have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported in the county this season.
West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999, 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://ow.ly/csZp2
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.