The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) has found even more evidence of West Nile virus in Lindenhurst.
According to County officials, one more WNV-positive sample was collected between August 20 and 23, and it's among 17 additional positive West Nile tests reported in 15 communities - including Lindy - across Suffolk.
Historic Increase in West Nile
This announcement on Friday comes just days after this in the instances of West Nile here in Suffolk County and all across the country is contributing to what the agency is calling the largest outbreak of the virus in United States history since the virus was first detected in 1999.
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, now has seven to date, and nearby now has . There were also two additional WNV-positive samples found in Copiague and three in Bay Shore to date, plus one in Deer Park and two in North Babylon.
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.
In response the County has been steadily spraying at Fire Island, as well as begun spraying all around the County, including in , West Babylon, Amityville and Copiague area on and in an area stretching from West Babylon and to West Bay Shore on .
The County has also treated Oak Beach on and , and Cedar Beach on , as well as salt marshes at the beaches all around Suffolk, including those at the Town beaches on , and .
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.
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