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Mosquito sample tests positive for West Nile virus in Riverhead

08/16/2019 4:46 PM |

A mosquito sample collected in Riverhead tested positive for West Nile virus, the second reported in the area this month, according to state and county health officials.

Another sample tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as Triple E, in the Manorville area. It was collected Aug. 7, prior to aerial spraying in the area Aug. 9. Another sample that tested positive in Manorville had been collected July 31.

Triple E is a rare but potentially deadly illness for humans, officials said. The disease is also a concern for horses, though a vaccine is available and recommended for horses. Both Triple E and West Nile virus are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Officials reiterated that Triple E is not typically common in humans. An average of seven cases are reported annually in the United States. There have been no cases in Suffolk County. There were four positive mosquito samples of Triple E in 2017 and three in 2008.

The Suffolk County Department of Public Works will treat sections of Manorville and Calverton by helicopter on Monday to control the breeding of mosquitoes. Weather permitting, the treatments will be done between 7 p.m. and midnight. The approximate location is from Riverhead Road/Grumman Boulevard to S. River Road and the Long Island Rail Road tracks extending from Princeton Avenue to Railroad Avenue. More information on spraying can be found here.

Officials encourage people to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

There have been 35 mosquito samples confirmed positive for West Nile virus to date this year in Suffolk, including one in Jamesport at the end of July. No humans have tested positive for the virus in Suffolk.

West Nile virus may cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. Symptoms may include fever, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain and fatigue. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus and patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed.

For more information on mosquito borne illnesses, click here.

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