40 more mosquito samples positive for West Nile, say health officials

Forty more mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing to 96 the total in Suffolk County this season, health officials said Friday.

The most recent positive samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected Aug. 12 and Aug. 15, with seven in West Babylon; six in Rocky Point; five each in Setuaket and East Northport; two each in Northport, Dix Hills, Deer Park, North Babylon, Copiague; and one each in Huntington Station, Bay Shore, West Bay Shore, Port Jefferson Station, Patchogue, Mastic Beach and East Hampton.

The virus also has been found in nine birds, health officials said.


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"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.

In Nassau County, 56 mosquito samples also have tested positive, a health department spokeswoman said.

There have been no human West Nile cases so far this year on Long Island. Four human cases and no deaths were reported in Suffolk last year, with eight human cases and no deaths in Nassau, officials said.

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 conditions or death.

Last year, 2,469 cases of human infection were reported in the United States, resulting in 119 deaths.

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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