A mosquito sample collected on Aug. 16 in Rocky Point has tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced Thursday.
This is the that has tested positive for the virus.
So far this year, 175 mosquito samples and 21 birds have tested positive for the virus and as of Aug. 6, there has been one confirmed human case of the virus reported in Suffolk County.
Health services commissioner Dr. James Tomarken urged residents to eliminate stagnant water around their homes in order to help control the mosquito population.
“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,” Tomarken said in a statement. “... 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.”
Infected mosquitoes have also been found in East Setauket, Port Jefferson Station, in Smithtown at Blydenburgh County Park, Nesconset, Mattituck and other locations in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
According to the SCDHS, most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, but some can develop symptoms such as high fever, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
The symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. Individuals, particularly those 50 years of age or older, or those with compromised immune systems, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
The county advised residents to minimize activity outdoors between dusk and dawn, use mosquito repellant, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors during periods of mosquito activity, and make sure windows and doors have screens in good repair.
The county also advised that dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile, and anyone who finds a dead bird should call the county's West Nile hotline at 631-787-2200 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Mosquito problems and stagnant pools of water can be reported to the Department of Public Works' Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.
For medical questions pertaining to West Nile virus, residents can call 631-853-3055 or visit the Department of Health Services website.