The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) has reported two more positive samples of West Nile virus in West Islip.
According to County officials, the samples were collected between July 24 and July 28 and are among 46 additional positive West Nile tests reported in more than 20 communities across Suffolk.
“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 James L. Tomarken, commissioner for the Department of Health Services. “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.”
To date this year, 125 mosquito samples and 13 birds have tested positive for the virus. In addition, New York State is currently investigating one human case that is being considered as probable for West Nile virus. The individual was hospitalized for several days and has fully recovered.
Tomarken said that residents can reduce the mosquito population around homes, by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. The county offers a bulletin entitled “Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Illnesses,” which contains tips on personal protection and repellents.
Dead birds found on area properties may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk 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 the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270. For medical questions related to West Nile virus, call 631-853-3055.