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New mosquito samples test positive for West Nile, Suffolk says

Four new mosquito samples collected in Suffolk County have tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said Thursday.

Two samples were collected on Sept. 12 — one from West Babylon and another from Bridgehampton — and one was collected from Huntington Station the following day, according to a news release. They were determined to be of the Culex pipiens-restuans species.

Another mosquito sample of the Culex salinarius species was collected on Sept. 12 from Islip, but no mosquito samples tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis this week.

To date, 116 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus and four samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE), the release added. No horses have tested positive for mosquito-borne illness in Suffolk County to date this year.

Health officials on Wednesday said a Town of Brookhaven resident had tested positive for West Nile virusm bringing the number of Suffolk County residents confirmed as positive for West Nile virus to three, the release said.

Suffolk County reported five human cases in both 2015 and 2016, one in 2014, and four in both 2011 and 2013.

West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile virus may cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. Symptoms may include fever, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. Patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed.

People 50 and older, or those with compromised immune systems, are most at risk and are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” Tomarken said in the release. “While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”

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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