A mosquito sample in Aquebogue tested positive for West Nile virus, the Suffolk County Health Department announced today. In total, 19 samples tested positive across the county July 27 to July 28.
No humans have tested positive for West Nile this year in the county, the health department said.
“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicated the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” said health commissioner James Tomarken in a press release. “While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”
To avoid mosquito bites, residents are warned to:
- Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
- Wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitos are active.
- Use mosquito repellent.
- Make sure windows and doors have screens.
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw out containers that hold water, such as vases, buckets or pool covers.
The health department said dead birds may indicated the presence of West nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the Public Health Information line at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The other reported positives samples were: Northport (three), Huntington Station (two), Farmingville (two), Selden (two), Port Jefferson Station (one), Stony Brook (one), Setauket (two), Bay Shore (one), Nesconset (one), Holtsville (two) and Greenlawn (one).
Most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, the health department said, but some can develop severe symptoms such as disorientation, coma, tremors and paralysis. Symptoms can last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent. People who are over age 50 or have have compromised immune systems are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by a mosquito.