Another East Hampton Mosquito Positive for West Nile

A second mosquito collected in East Hampton has tested positive for West Nile virus, county health officials announced Friday. It was one of 19 collected across the county between July 31 and Aug. 6 to test positive for the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed samples with the virus to 63 so far this summer.

This comes two weeks after 22 mosquitoes collected in Suffolk County, including one in East Hampton, were found to carry the virus. Six birds have also tested positive for West Nile virus this year. No humans or horses have tested positive.

Along with the mosquito collected from East Hampton, the others among the positive samples were collected in Southold, Greenlawn, Dix Hills, Huntington, Rocky Point, Port Jefferson Station, Nesconset, West Babylon, North Babylon, Lindenhurst, and Copiague.

This marks the fourth time a mosquito collected in East Hampton has tested positive for West Nile. The first was collected in August 2010, the second in August 2014, and the third last month.

West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

In a statement issued on Friday, James Tomarken, the county's health commissioner, said that while there is no cause for alarm, residents have been advised to cooperate with county officials in their efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating.

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. 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.

Precautions can include minimizing outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, wearing shoes and socks and long pants and long-sleeved shirts, using mosquito repellent, and making sure that all windows and doors have screens that are in good repair.

Once a week, containers that hold water, such as vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, discarded tires, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, trash cans, and rain barrels should be emptied and scrubbed, turned over, covered, or thrown away.

The county's informational brochure, "Get the Buzz on Mosquito Protection," is available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded at suffolkcountyny.gov.

Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. The public has been asked to report dead birds by calling the county's public health information line at 631-787-2200, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents have been encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.

Those wishing to report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water have been asked to call the Department of Public Works' Vector Control division at 631-852-4270.