Sixteen new mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County during the latest round of testing, health officials announced Friday.
The positive samples were collected throughout the county, including two samples each in Bay Shore and Lindenhurst, according to a released statement from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. The samples were collected between Aug. 25 and Aug. 27, officials said. Positive samples were also retrieved in Farmingville, Northport, West Islip, Brentwood, North Babylon, Greenlawn, Copiague, Great River, Setauket, Holtsville, North Patchogue and East Hampton, officials said.
Authorities report 76 mosquito samples in Suffolk County have tested positive this season.
The virus was first detected in Suffolk in birds and mosquitoes in 1999, officials said. They added it can spread to humans through mosquito bites.
The illness leads to mild symptoms for most, however, others, including people 50 or older, can develop high fevers, headaches, neck stiffness, disorientation and fall into a coma, experts said.
Dr. Gregson Pigott, the county commissioner of health services, said in the statement: “While there is no cause for undue concern, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce exposure to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.”
To limit exposure, Pigott recommends reducing time outside, wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves in areas where mosquitoes are active, and using mosquito repellent.