Two crows have tested positive for West Nile virus - the first two birds collected in Suffolk County this year to test positive, health officials said yesterday.

The crows were collected Aug. 13 and 14 in Huntington and Huntington Station, health commissioner Dr. Humayun Chaudhry said in a news release.

The state Health Department confirmed the positive tests, Chaudhry said.

Transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, West Nile virus was first detected in Suffolk a decade ago. The virus can be fatal.

Residents should report dead bird sightings to the public health hotline at 631-787-2200, according to the health department.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"If a bird is not collected for testing, residents should use a shovel or wear gloves and double bag the dead bird and dispose of it in the trash or bury it," the health department said. "There is no evidence that a bird or its remains can infect humans."

For questions on the virus, call 631-853-3055 or visit the Web site at suffolkcountyny.gov/health.