Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services Dr. James Tomarken today reported the confirmation of three cases of West Nile virus in Suffolk County. Each of the three individuals is over 50 years of age and resides in the Town of Brookhaven. One individual became ill with symptoms consistent with West Nile virus in September and the other two became ill in October. All three were hospitalized and all are now recovering.
Suffolk County has reported 11 cases of West Nile virus to date this season. The eight previously reported cases were from the towns of Islip, Huntington, Smithtown, Brookhaven, Southold and Babylon.
“We are pleased that these three individuals who contracted West Nile virus are recovering, and we wish to remind residents that this is a good time of the year to plan ahead for the coming season,” said Dr. Tomarken. “Most people do not realize the number of areas around their own homes where mosquitoes can find stagnant water for laying their eggs.”
By reducing mosquito breeding habitats, you can reduce mosquito-borne diseases and the need for chemical pesticides. To reduce mosquito breeding habitats around your home, the US EPA recommends the following steps:
Walk around your yard. Identify locations and sizes of all stagnant water bodies, including areas with open cisterns, water barrels, basins, storm drains, blocked roof gutters, and all water retaining containers.
Remove breeding sites such as old tires, discarded appliances, car parts, kids toys, plastic bags, tarps, containers, pet bowls, bottle caps, garbage pails without lids, plastics, or any other debris capable of holding water.
Maintain your property. Unblock drains, drill a few small drainage holes in plant pots, plastic toys, and garbage cans. Repeat the process after every rain storm.
Consider biological solutions: If you have large areas of standing water on your property and it is not easily drained, consider biological solutions such as small mosquito fish, gold fish, flatworms or cope-pods.
If there are mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water near your home that are not under your control, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.
Individuals who have medical questions related to West Nile virus may call the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Division of Public Health: 631-854-0333.