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Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile in Nassau, Suffolk


Tests confirmed Wednesday that mosquitoes collected from a pool in Bethpage two weeks ago tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), Nassau County health officials said.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Culex pipiens-restuans, or “house mosquito”

The announcement comes 12 days after a Suffolk County health officials confirmed that mosquitoes collected from a pool in West Babylon also tested positive for WNV.


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Both sets of test results were confirmed by the New York State Department of Health.
 
To date, no humans, horses or birds have tested positive for WNV on Long Island this year.
 
Both county health departments inspect dozens of mosquito breeding sites and, when necessary, apply larvicide.

Suffolk County began spraying pesticides for adult mosquitoes June 30 on Fire Island. Nassau County has no plans to spray for adult mosquitoes at this time, officials said.

The virus, first detected on Long Island in 1999 and again each year since, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Culex pipiens-restuans, or “house mosquito” which does not fly more than 200 feet from its breeding site.

Most people infected with WNV will experience no symptoms, but some will experience 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.

Residents are urged to continue to take these precautions for safety and protection:

-Remove or empty standing water from children’s outdoor toys, flower pots, garbage cans,    pails, old tires, or any object that can hold water.
-Make sure roof gutters drain properly; clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
-Keep swimming pools chlorinated and their covers free of stagnant water.
-Change the water in birdbaths every two or three days.
-Install window and door screens and keep them in good repair.
-Consider wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and mosquito repellent (according to directions) if outdoors when mosquitoes are active, especially in the late afternoon and evening hours.
-Decorative ponds and water features should be circulated or chlorinated if they do not contain fish to prevent mosquito breeding.

For additional information on West Nile virus activity, contact Nassau County Department of Health at: 516-572-1211, weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Additional WNV information may be found on the Nassau County Department of Health website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Health/westnile.html

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. 

For medical questions related to West Nile virus, call 631-853-3055. For further information on West Nile virus, visit the Department of Health Services’ website at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health.

More articles filed under Long Island News,News

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