County: 26 samples collected last month bring total up to 46 this year
Twenty-six mosquito samples and one bird have tested positive for the West Nile virus in various parts of Suffolk County, Dr. James L. Tomarken, the county’s health commissioner, announced on Friday.
The bird, an American crow, was collected on July 31 from Port Jefferson. All the mosquito samples that came back positive were collected on July 29, according to the county. Five of them were from West Babylon, four were from Farmingville and three were from Lindenhurst; as well as two samples each from Northport, East Northport, Huntington Station, Nesconset and Port Jefferson; and one sample each from Greenlawn, Selden, North Babylon and West Islip.
To date this year, 46 mosquito samples and four birds have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The virus was first detected in birds and mosquitoes in Suffolk County in 1999. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. No humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk this year.
While Dr. Tomarken said there’s no cause for alarm, he urged residents to take steps to reduce exposure to the virus.
Residents should eliminate stagnant water, where mosquitos breed. Popular breeding grounds include tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires, wading pools, wheelbarrows and birdbaths. In addition, residents can make sure their roof gutters are draining properly, clean debris from the edges of ponds and drain water from pool covers.
Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites, make sure windows and doors have screens and wear clothing that covers you when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitos are more active.
To report dead birds, which may indicate the presence of the virus, residents should call the county’s West Nile virus hotline at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.
To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the vector control division at 631-852-4270.
For medical questions, call 631-854-0333.