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6 more Suffolk mosquito samples test positive for West Nile virus

A file photo shows a mosquito, a carrier

A file photo shows a mosquito, a carrier for the potentially lethal West Nile virus. Credit: Getty Images

Six more mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing the total for the year to 13, Suffolk County health officials reported on Friday.

The new samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected July 14, 16 and 17 from Port Jefferson Station, Rocky Point, East Northport, Copiague and Dix Hills, officials said.

Nassau has had two positive samples, one collected July 3 in Kings Point, the other, July 16 in Greenvale, a spokeswoman said.

Some mosquito bites can transmit West Nile to humans, with mosquitoes picking up the virus by feeding on infected birds.

"The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area," said Dr. James L. Tomarken, Suffolk health services commissioner.

"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."

In some cases, the virus causes serious neurological illnesses that can lead to health conditions or death.

Nassau had four reported human cases of West Nile and no deaths in 2014, with Suffolk reporting one case and no deaths.

Last year, 2,205 cases of human infection were reported in the United States, resulting in 97 deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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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