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West Nile hotline activated in Suffolk County

There were 28 reported cases of West Nile

There were 28 reported cases of West Nile virus on Long Island in 2012, including one fatal case in Nassau, according to Dr. Bruce Hirsch, a physician at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. Credit: Science Source Images

Suffolk County has activated a West Nile hotline as part of its effort to detect and prevent the spread of West Nile Virus.

The Department of Health Services’ Public Health Hotline at 631-787-2200 is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“It’s important to provide our neighbors with the information on who to contact if they have concerns about West Nile,” Suffolk County Legis. Steve Stern (D-Huntington), said. “West Nile continues to be a public health challenge. The best way to protect ourselves and to protect our communities is by getting important information out to residents.”

West Nile virus was first detected in Suffolk County in 1999. Some mosquito bites can transmit West Nile to humans, with mosquitoes picking up the virus from infected birds. Residents are advised to call the hotline if they see a dead bird, and the department will determine whether it will be picked up for testing.

The hotline will be active until Labor Day.

For further information on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the county Department of Health Services website, and look under “seasonal trends.” To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.

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