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Suffolk reports 25 new mosquito samples test positive for West Nile virus

Suffolk County is reporting 25 new mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing the year's total to 71, health officials said Thursday.

The new samples -- all Culex pipiens-restuans -- were collected Aug. 4 to 6 in Bay Shore, West Islip, Brentwood, Nesconset, Northport, Huntington, South Huntington, Greenlawn, Dix Hills, Deer Park, Copiague, Lindenhurst, West Babylon, Farmingville and Port Jefferson Station, officials said.

One new bird has also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to five, with the most recent collected in Commack.

Nassau is reporting 20 positive mosquito samples, a health department spokeswoman said.

Some mosquito bites can transmit West Nile to humans, with mosquitoes picking up the virus by feeding on infected birds.

No human cases of West Nile have been reported yet this year on Long Island.

"The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area," said Dr. James L. Tomarken, county health services commissioner.

"While there is no cause for alarm, we urge residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans."

In some cases, the virus causes serious neurological illnesses that can lead to health conditions or death.

Nassau had four reported human cases of West Nile and no deaths last year, with Suffolk reporting one case and no deaths.

Last year, 2,205 cases of human infection were reported in the United States, resulting in 97 deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Residents are advised to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed in and around their homes; to minimize outdoor activities and cover their skin in the evening and night when mosquitoes are most active; and to use mosquito repellent outdoors.

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