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West Nile found in more Suffolk mosquitoes

Ten more mosquito samples, collected from Sept. 4 to 7, have tested positive for West Nile virus, Suffolk County health officials said Friday.

That brings to 158 the number of mosquito samples testing positive this year in Suffolk. Four birds also tested positive, but there have been no human or equine cases so far, health officials said.

The most recent positive samples were collected in Huntington, East Northport, Copiague, Lindenhurst, Selden, Farmingville, Port Jefferson Station, Rocky Point, Aquebogue and Jamesport.

Some mosquitoes' bites can transmit West Nile to humans. Mosquitoes pick up the virus by feeding on infected birds.

Also on Friday, Nassau County reported the second confirmed human case of West Nile on Long Island, a man older than 50 from the Town of Hempstead, who had been hospitalized and is now recovering at home, said Mary Ellen Laurain, communications director for the Nassau County Department of Health.

The first case was that of a woman older than 60 from the Town of Oyster Bay, whose symptoms started Aug. 8. She too was hospitalized and was later recovering at home, Laurain said.

Nassau also reported 32 mosquito samples testing positive for the virus.

Nationally, last year ranked as the second-worst in terms of West Nile cases since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Nassau and Suffolk counties reported 14 human cases each last year, including one Nassau death.

The positive samples this year indicate "the virus is actively circulating within the mosquito population," according to a statement by James L. Tomarken, commissioner of Suffolk County Health Services. "While there is no cause for alarm, we urge residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to contain the spread of the virus, which can be debilitating to humans."

That means eliminating standing water, which can collect in tin cans, birdbaths and discarded tires, and can serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

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