The Suffolk County Department of Health is reporting four fresh samples of West Nile Virus in recent mosquito populations in Farmingville, as well as 21 other samples throughout Suffolk County. Two birds have tested positive for the virus also.
That brings to 57 the number of mosquito samples to date as well as eight birds testing positive for West Nile. The department is also reporting one human case. The infected individual has been treated and has made a full recovery, according to the department's release.
The positive tests are significantly higher than this time of the summer in years past, though authorities say this is not necessarily a sign of things to come.
“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 Dr. Tomarken, commissioner of Suffolk County 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.”
A department spokesperson declined to provide specifically where in Farmingville the samples were tested.
Earlier this month, , as well as Nesconset, Dix Hills, Amagansett, and Northport.
West Nile virus, first detected in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
The county has again asked residents to report any dead animals, especially birds, 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.