The Suffolk County Health Department announced Friday that new mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in Dix Hills, Huntington and Northport.
The samples, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected between July 30 and Aug. 5, from Dix Hills (1), West Babylon (1), and Huntington (2), Northport (1), Lindenhurst (1), East Hampton(1). In addition, one dead bird has tested positive for West Nile Virus.
To date, the county has confirmed 42 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus. To date, there are no human cases.
West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter, 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.
“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” said Dr. James Tomarken, health commissioner. “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.”
Tomarken said most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, but some can develop severe symptoms including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. The symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. Individuals, especially those 50 years of age or older, or those with compromised immune systems, who are most at risk, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.