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Mosquito sample found in Southold tests positive for West Nile virus

A mosquito sample collected in Southold tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Suffolk County Department of Health.

The sample was one of six in Suffolk County collected July 20 that tested positive. The others were in West Babylon, West Islip, Holbrook and Selden, where there were two positive samples.

There have been nine mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile virus so far this summer. The first were found in Northport and were collected July 6.

Samples of West Nile virus have been found each year since it was first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999.

The health department says 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, muscle weakness, vision loss and paralysis. Symptoms could last several weeks and neurological effects could be permanent. The health department urges people, particularly those 50 or older and those with compromised immune systems, to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott. “While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce exposure to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.”

Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, contact the Bureau of Public Health Protection at 631-852-5999 anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.

To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.

See more information here.

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