Eight new mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus on Long Island, bringing the total to 46 on the year, health officials in Suffolk County announced.
Samples collected on Tuesday, Aug. 13 and Thursday, Aug. 15, tested positive for the virus in Lindenhurst, North Babylon, Nesconset, Bohemia, Farmingdale, Huntington Station and Selden.
Officials said that no humans have been infected, though three birds have tested positive for the virus, but homeowners have been cautioned to avoid having standing water on their property.
"The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area," Health Commissioner James Tomarken stated. "While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce their exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”
According to the New York State Department of Health, mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals. In humans,
West Nile Virus may cause a mild illness but may also cause encephalitis - inflammation of the brain - or meningitis - inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.
Tips to avoid being bitten by a mosquito from the Suffolk County Department of Health can be found here.
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