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Mosquito samples test positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk

A culex pipiens, one of the mosquitoes that

A culex pipiens, one of the mosquitoes that transmits West Nile virus and lives on Long Island. Photo Credit: USGS

Seven new mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, Suffolk health officials said Friday.

The samples, which were tested between July 30 and Aug. 5, were taken from Huntington, Dix Hills, West Babylon, Northport, Lindenhurst and East Hampton. Huntington had two samples test positive, while the others all had one mosquito sample test positive, Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said in a statement.

There have been 42 confirmed mosquito samples that tested positive for West Nile this year, but no positive human cases, officials said. A dead bird also tested positive.

“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” Tomarken said. “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.”

Mosquitos and bird samples first tested positive for the virus in Suffolk County in 1999, and there have been subsequent positive tests every year since. The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, Tomarken said.

People are urged to take precautions that include minimizing activities from dusk till dawn, wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts and using mosquito repellent, officials said.

Those affected by the virus usually experience mild or no symptoms, but severe effects such as headaches, high fever, paralysis and slipping into a coma, can occur, Tomarken said.


 

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