Long Island News

West Nile virus discovered on Long Island

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Health officials say the West Nile virus has been found on Long Island for the first time this season.

A mosquito sample taken from Gardiner County Park in Islip on June 20 and a dead crow found in Northport on June 27 tested positive for the virus.

In neighboring Nassau County, no positive samplings have been found so far.

Last year, four Suffolk residents were reported infected with the disease. In Nassau there were 16 confirmed cases, including a 70-year-old man who died.

Health officials advise residents to remove stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. Mosquitoes transmit the disease.

The West Nile virus is mild for most people, but can be deadly for others with weak immune systems.

Some people experience only mild flu-like symptoms after contracting West Nile virus, but the infection can cause meningitis or encephalitis, which can result in a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.

Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes

  • Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
  • Make sure windows have screens, and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • Eliminate any standing water from your property, and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
  • Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
  • Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting http://www.nyc.gov/health/wnv.

    If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away. The most common symptoms are headache, fever and extreme fatigue. For more information about West Nile virus, and how to avoid it, visit the Health Department website at www.nyc.gov/health or call 311.

    Information on West Nile virus surveillance is available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/wnv/wnvrrs.shtml/a>.


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