West Nile virus tests positive in mosquito samples in 2 Suffolk parks

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Mosquito samples from Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown and Gardiner County Park in West Bay Shore have tested positive for West Nile virus, county health officials said.

As a result, Suffolk County Health Commissioner James L. Tomarken has advised the county's parks department to suspend activities in the parks between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

"The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area," Tomarken said in a news release. "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."

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As many as 98 mosquito samples and 11 birds have tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said.

Residents may report dead birds found on area properties, which may indicate the presence of West Nile virus, to the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk County at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, health officials said, adding that residents may report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water to the Department of Public Works' Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.

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