With seven new mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus, the total for the year is up to 132 in Suffolk County, health officials reported Wednesday.
The new samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected Aug. 27 to Sept. 4 in Rocky Point, Huntington, Holtsville, Setauket, Dix Hills, Brentwood and Commack.
Fifteen birds and one horse have tested positive for the virus, with no human cases to date, health officials said.
The virus confirmation in the horse from Manorville “doesn’t indicate an increased human risk” for the virus, officials said, though “the county is conducting surveillance in the area to evaluate the risks.” Also, owners are reminded to vaccinate their horses for West Nile, as well as Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.
Nassau County has reported 15 West Nile positive mosquito samples, with no human cases, a health department spokeswoman said. Last year Suffolk County saw five human West Nile cases and no deaths, with Nassau reporting nine human cases and no deaths.
Some mosquito bites can transmit West Nile to humans, with mosquitoes picking up the virus by feeding on infected birds.
Also, Asian Tiger mosquitoes, officially known as Aedes albopictus, are presently active in Suffolk, health officials said. Known “to bite aggressively near your feet and ankles during the day,” they are also relatives of the mosquito — Aedes aegypti — that is transmitting the Zika virus.
Zika virus has not been found in any mosquitoes on Long Island, officials said.
The Asian Tiger “has been known to carry the virus, but not as competently as the Aedes aegypti and not at all in New York,” said Grace Kelly-McGovern, Suffolk’s health department spokeswoman.
Residents are advised to do the following to avoid mosquito bites, Dr. James L. Tomarken, county health commissioner, said:
- Eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed by dumping water and scrubbing containers weekly to remove eggs;
- Use mosquito repellent with EPA-approved labeling;
- Consider using dunks, treating yards with barrier-type sprays containing permethrin as the active ingredient, or hiring licensed pesticide applicators.