Mosquitoes collected in Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale have tested positive for West Nile virus, state parks officials said Friday.
To ensure parkgoers' safety, summer night activities there have been canceled -- an Aug. 17 bat safari and an Aug. 24 moon river hike, officials said.
Some mosquitoes' bites transmit West Nile virus to humans. Mosquitoes pick up the virus through feeding on infected birds.
Last month, a 38-year-old East Yaphank man with aches, fever and headaches went to the hospital, where officials said he was infected by the West Nile virus.
Symptoms of the mosquito-borne virus generally show up within two weeks of a bite by an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus develop no symptoms, health officials say.
Some victims recover within days. Still others can get more severe symptoms, including paralysis and disorientation.
Last year ranked as the second-worst in U.S. West Nile virus cases since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Nassau and Suffolk counties reported 14 human cases each last year, including one Nassau death. The state officials must still review and confirm the East Yaphank case and have said there have been no official cases so far this year.
Suffolk health officials have said that four mosquito samples, collected July 9 from areas in East Northport, Northport and Huntington, have tested positive for West Nile. The Nassau health department also has said that two samples, collected July 12 in Kings Point and Plandome Manor, have tested positive.
To avoid mosquito bites, people are advised to wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are more active. They may also use mosquito repellent when outdoors, following label directions carefully.
More information on West Nile virus can be obtained at the Suffolk County Department of Health's website, suffolkcountyny.gov/health.