Suffolk County Reminds Residents To Use The West Nile Hotline And To Take Precautions

Suffolk County Health Services (SCDHS) Commissioner James L. Tomarken announced  that the New York State Department of Health confirmed that a mosquito sample found in Gardiner County Park in Islip has tested positive for West Nile virus on July 2. A dead crow, picked up in Northport on June 27th , has also tested positive for the virus.

“The confirmation of West Nile virus in a mosquito pool indicates that the virus is actively circulating within the mosquito population,” said Dr. Tomarken. “While there is no cause for alarm, we urge residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to contain the spread of the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”

To reduce the mosquito population around homes, residents should try to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed:
· Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-
holding containers.
· Remove all discarded tires on the property.
· Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
· Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
· Change the water in birdbaths.
· Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and keep shrubs
and grass trimmed.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
· Drain water from pool covers.

To avoid mosquito bites, residents are advised to:

· Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
· Wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active.
· Use mosquito repellent when outdoors, following label directions carefully.
· Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.

Dead birds found on area properties may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk County 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.

For further information on West Nile virus, visit the Department of Health Services’ website at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health.

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