The Suffolk County Department of Health closed Wildwood Lake in Northampton to bathers Friday due to high bacteria levels. The beach closure came the same day the county announced three mosquitos samples taken from Riverhead Town tested positive for West Nile virus.
The West Nile samples were taken from two sites in Jamesport and one in Aquebogue between July 21 and July 23. Positive West Nile samples were also found at 16 other sites in Suffolk County during those days.
West Nile is transmitted to humans and other mammals through mosquitoes. No cases of the virus in humans, horses or birds have been reported in Suffolk County this year.
Officials said that dead birds can be a sign of the virus and advise residents that see any to call the county’s hotline at 787-2200.
As for the beach at Wildwood Lake, county officials did not say how long it would be closed.
The Department of Health regularly tests Suffolk’s bathing beaches for bacteria levels from May to September, according to the county’s website.
For the latest information on affected beaches, call the Bathing Beach hotline at 852-5822.