Dozens of samples test positive for West Nile virus on LI - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dozens of samples test positive for West Nile virus on LI

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Residents are urged to be careful after mosquito samples on Long Island have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Suffolk County Health Services Commissioner James L. Tomarken announced Sunday that 12 additional samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. The samples were collected from Huntington Station, Northport, South Huntington, West Babylon, Rocky Point, and Copaigue.

So far this year, 25 mosquito samples and five birds have tested positive for West Nile virus. No humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk County as of yet.

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. 

"The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area," said Dr. Tomarken. "While there is no cause for alarm yet, we urge residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans."

According to officials, in order 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.

Experts say 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.

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