New mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus on Long Island.
Health officials reported that six new mosquito samples taken in Suffolk County tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 104 mosquito samples and four birds that have tested positive for West Nile this summer.
The samples were collected in the Town of Islip between Monday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 12 from Bay Shore (two), Cold Spring Harbor, Brentwood, Riverhead, and Bohemia (one each).
There have been no cases of West Nile virus in any patients on Long Island so far this year.
“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” Gregson Pigott, the Suffolk County health commissioner said.
“While there is no cause for undue concern, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce exposure to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.”
According to officials, “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 may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent,” Pigott noted. “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 by mosquitoes.”
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.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.