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West Nile virus found in 14 more mosquito samples in Suffolk County

Another 14 mosquito samples collected in Suffolk County earlier this month have tested positive for the West Nile virus, county health officials said Friday.

The samples were taken Aug. 17 and 18, Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott said.

Four samples from Northport tested positive for the virus, along with two samples collected in Bay Shore, Pigott said in a release. One sample each collected in Huntington, Huntington Station, West Babylon, Lindenhurst, Nesconset, West Islip, Setauket and Aquebogue tested positive, he said.

In addition, two birds, one collected Aug. 20 in Centereach and one collected Wednesday in Miller Place, tested positive, he said.

In total, 71 mosquito samples and four birds have tested positive this season, Pigott said.

The West Nile virus is transmitted to humans from mosquito bites and can cause severe symptoms such as muscle weakness, vision loss and neurological problems, which in some people are permanent.

The county health department said people ages 50 and older or with compromised immune systems can get severely sick, while most people who contract the virus have mild or no symptoms.

Suffolk officials said residents can report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water by calling the county's vector control division at 631-852-4270.

Anyone who sees a dead bird — which could indicate the presence of the West Nile virus — should photograph the bird and contact Suffolk's Bureau of Public Health Protection at 631-852-5999 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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