Suffolk: 10 more mosquito samples test positive for West Nile virus

Dr. Clifford Bassett of the NYU School of Medicine describes simple ways people can lessen their chance of contracting West Nile Virus. (Aug. 17)

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Ten more mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus bring to 56 the total in Suffolk County this season, health officials said Friday.

The most recent positive samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected Aug. 5 and 6, with two each in Nesconset, West Babylon and Copiague, and one each in Northport, Rocky Point, West Bay Shore and Lindenhurst. The virus was found also in seven 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.

Thirty-eight mosquito samples also have tested positive in Nassau County, a health department spokeswoman 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.

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.

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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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