Twenty-one additional mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County, including one each in Farmingville, Holtsville and Nesconset, County Health Services officials reported on Friday.
James L. Tomarken, Health Services commissioner, said that while the number of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile is historically high for this time of year, it’s difficult to say if the trend will continue.
“There are many factors, such as weather, that affect mosquito population and activity,” he said. “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.” Tomarken suggests that in order to help reduce the mosquito population around homes, residents should work to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
The county offers an informative bulletin entitled “Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Illnesses,” which contains tips on personal protection and repellents.
County health officials also note that 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 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.
For medical questions related to West Nile virus, call 631-853-3055.