The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) has found more evidence of West Nile virus in Half Hollow Hills.
According to County officials, one more postive mosquito sample of West Nile virus was collected between Aug. 20 and 23, and is among 17 additional positive West Nile tests reported in 15 communities - including Dix Hills, Huntington Station, Northport and others across Suffolk.
Historic Increase in West Nile
This announcement on Friday comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated this uptick in the instances of West Nile in Suffolk County and all across the country is contributing to what the agency is calling
So far this year 192 mosquito samples and 29 birds have tested positive for the virus, in addition to and (no equine cases have been reported so far), Suffolk health officials said.
Of those 192 samples that span the County, Dix Hills now has three positive mosquito samples to date.
Dr. Lyle Petersen, the director of the CDC's Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Division told CNN, "The peak of West Nile virus epidemics usually occurs in mid-August, but it takes a couple of weeks for people to get sick, go to the doctor and get reported. Thus we expect many more cases to occur."
However, while "the number of mosquitoes testing positive is historically high for this time of year, we cannot predict if the numbers will continue to be high,” said Dr. James L. Tomarken, commissioner of the SCDHS.
"There are many factors, such as weather, that affect mosquito population and activity," he said.
What Residents Can Do
Tomarken also said residents could reduce the mosquito population around their homes by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
“Given the numbers are high, and we're finding samples in virtually all parts of the County, we ask residents be especially vigilant about reducing their exposure to mosquitoes whenever they can,” he added.
The County also offers a bulletin entitled Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Illnesses, which contains tips on personal protection and repellents.
In addition, residents could call the following for more information:
Dead birds found on area properties might indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds call the West Nile virus in Suffolk at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.
For medical questions related to West Nile virus, call 631-853-3055.