The Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced Friday that 17 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus throughout Suffolk County, including two in Nesconset.
With Friday's announcement, SCDHS has confirmed 192 mosquito samples and 29 birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus this year.
Two human cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Suffolk County this year, but both individuals have been treated by area hospitals and released.
“Though the number of mosquitoes testing positive is historically high for this time of year, we cannot predict if the numbers will continue to be high,” said Suffolk County Health Services Commissioner James Tomarken, in a written statement. “There are many factors, such as weather, that affect mosquito population and activity. “Given that the numbers are high and we are finding samples in virtually all parts of the county, we ask that residents be especially vigilant about reducing their exposure to mosquitoes whenever they can.”
Mosquito samples also tested positive for West Nile virus in Farmingville, West Babylon (2), Huntington Station, Northport, Greenlawn, Dix Hills, Bay Shore, Lindenhurst, Jamesport, Aquebogue, Port Jefferson Station, Ridge, East Setauket and Yaphank.
West Nile, which has become a repeat problem on Long Island in the Summer, is particularly dangerous to humans for the neurological effects it could present.
New York State is investigating one possible human case probable for West Nile virus pending further testing, according to the SCDHS. That person was hospitalized for several days and has fully recovered.
According to the SCDHS, most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, but some can develop symptoms such as high fever, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
The symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. Individuals, particularly those 50 years of age or older, or those with compromised immune systems, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Those with medical questions about West Nile Virus can call 631-853-3055.
Tomarken has asked residents to take extra care in reducing the mosquito populations around homes, by eliminating sources of stagnant water - where mosquitoes breed.
The SCDHS suggests the following measures to eliminate stagnant water:
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Remove all discarded tires on the property.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths.
- Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and keep shrubs and grass trimmed.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
To report dead birds, call the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk County at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call 631-852-4270.