West Nile virus found in more mosquito samples in Suffolk

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Twelve more mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus brings to 25 the total in Suffolk County this season, health officials said Friday.

The most recent positive samples were collected July 22 and 23, with six samples in West Babylon, two in Copiague, one each in Huntington Station, Northport, South Huntington, Rocky Point.

"While there is no cause for alarm, we urge residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans," Suffolk County Health Services Commissioner James Tomarken said in statement.

Fourteen samples have tested positive in Nassau County, a spokeswoman said.

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West Nile can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. In some cases, the virus causes serious neurological illnesses that can lead to permanent effects or death. Last year, 2,469 cases of human infection were reported in the United States, resulting in 119 deaths.

Four human West Nile cases and no deaths were reported in Suffolk last year, with eight human cases and no deaths in Nassau, officials said.

Residents are advised to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed in and around their homes; to minimize outdoor activities and cover their skin in the evening and night when mosquitoes are most active; and to use mosquito repellent outdoors.

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