Suffolk residents have been spared from the West Nile virus so far this year, but the number of mosquito samples found to be infected with the virus continues to pile up.
Five more samples, including three in Sachem, across the county have tested positive for the virus, according to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
Two samples in Farmingville and one each in Holbrook, South Huntington and Northport that were collected on July 10 tested positive.
A week earlier, the first infected sample found in Farmingville was .
So far this year, 15 mosquito samples and six birds in the county have tested positive for West Nile. There have been no reported human cases in Suffolk this year.
The county has again asked residents , found on their properties to be taken and tested for the virus.
In order to help stop the spread of both the virus and the pesky insects, the county has suggested residents do the following:
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Remove all discarded tires on the property.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths.
- Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds, and keep shrubs and grass trimmed.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
According to the SCDHS, "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 might last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent."
To report dead birds, call the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk County 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.