The second mosquito to test positive for West Nile virus in the Town of East Hampton this year was among 19 positive samples reported by the Suffolk County Department of Health on Friday.
The Health Department said that the 19 samples were collected between Aug. 16 and 18. In addition to the positive sample in East Hampton, mosquitoes testing positive were collected from Rocky Point, Yaphank, Stony Brook, Oakdale, North Patchogue, Islip, Melville, Huntington, Huntington Station, Northport, Commack, Smithtown, and Holtsville.
The previous week, the Health Department announced 34 positive samples, among them the first from East Hampton. Those samples were collected between Aug. 9 and 12. Like those collected between Aug. 16 and 18, all of the other positive samples were collected UpIsland.
To date this year, 110 mosquitoes and 14 birds have tested positive for West Nile virus. No humans or horses have tested positive in the county this year.
While Asian Tiger mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus, are active in the county, no samples here have tested positive for the virus. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are small mosquitoes known to bite aggressively near the feet and ankles during the day.
James Tomarken, the county's health commissioner, recommended that property owners eliminate stagnant water from any containers by dumping the water and scrubbing the containers weekly to remove mosquito eggs. He also suggested using mosquito repellent with Environmental Protection Agency-approved labeling, treating yards with barrier-type sprays containing Permethrin, hiring licensed pesticide applicators, or using Mosquito Dunks, a biological pesticide that is placed where water accumulates.
Residents of the county can also contact the Department of Public Works' Vector Control division at 631-852-4270 to request a vector control crew check their area.
To discourage mosquitoes from breeding near residences, property owners should remove any discarded tires, dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers, ensure that roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters. Plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows should be overturned when not in use. Water in birdbaths should be changed and the containers scrubbed. Shrubs and grass should be trimmed regularly, and vegetation and debris should be cleared from the edges of ponds. Swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs should be cleaned and chlorinated. Water should be drained from pool covers, which should also be scrubbed. Lastly, all windows and doors should have screens that are in good repair.
Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus. The county's West Nile virus hotline can be reached at 631-787-2200, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to report dead birds. Residents have been encouraged to take a picture of any bird in question.