More than two dozen additional mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk, bringing the total for the year to 38, county officials said Friday.
The samples, which were collected on July 27, include seven mosquitoes in West Babylon; three each in Selden and Aquebogue; two each in Lindenhurst, West Islip and Holtsville and one each in Dix Hills, Melville, Copiague, Nesconset, Islip, Port Jefferson Station and Setauket.
“While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce exposure to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott.
Twelve mosquito samples collected on July 20 and July 21 in Dix Hills, Cold Spring Harbor, Melville, Copiague, Bay Shore, Setauket, Port Jefferson Station and Aquebogue previously tested positive for the virus.
West Nile, which was first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk in 1999, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
While most people infected with West Nile will experience mild or no symptoms, some individuals can develop high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Symptoms can last several weeks while the neurological effects may be permanent, officials said.
Individuals 50 or older or with compromised immune systems are the most at risk and are urged to take precautions, including:
- Minimizing outdoor activities between dusk and dawn
- Wearing pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when mosquitoes are active
- Using mosquito repellent and making sure all windows and doors have screens
- Emptying, turning over, covering or throwing out containers that hold standing water to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs
- Reporting the presence of dead birds, which may indicate the presence of West Nile, to the county Bureau of Public Health Protection at 631-852-5999
To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, Suffolk residents can call the county Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.