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4 mosquitoes in Suffolk positive for West Nile virus, officials say

Suffolk health officials urged residents to take precautions

Suffolk health officials urged residents to take precautions after four mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile virus. Photo Credit: USGS

Four more mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus, Suffolk County health officials said Monday.

State health department officials informed their Suffolk counterparts that the four samples were collected on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 from Selden, Jamesport, Aquebogue and Brentwood. The latest samples bring to 57 the number of mosquitoes this year that have tested positive for the virus, county health officials said.

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

As many as six mosquitoes have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis, while four birds have tested positive for West Nile virus. Officials said no humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County this year.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue, though there is no specific treatment for it, officials said.

Health officials urged area residents to help curb the mosquito population by eliminating standing water on property to prevent the laying of eggs.

Additionally, people over 50, or those with compromised immune systems, should take extra precautions including minimizing outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active. They should also use mosquito repellent and make sure all doors and windows have screens in good repair.

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