West Nile Virus, Jamestown Canyon Virus found in mosquito samples in Suffolk County

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023
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SUFFOLK COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- Residents of Suffolk County are being alerted to two mosquito transmitted viruses in the area.

Six mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and one tested positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus.

The positive West Nile Virus samples were collected from August 13 through August 19 from Melville, Bay Shore, Northport, Commack, Bohemia, and Holtsville. And now, two residents have tested positive for the virus as well.

"One was in the town of Southampton, who I believe had a fever and was hospitalized for observation and released," Dr. Pigott said. "The second one I believe is in the Town of Huntington, who is currently hospitalized."

Scientists at the lab say that out of 45 sites throughout the county at least 30 have come back positive throughout the entire summer.

By the end of the season last year, 11 residents tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Mosquitos will be tsted through October.

It wasn't released where the sample that tested positive for Jamestown Canyon was taken from in Suffolk County.

"The finding of Jamestown Canyon virus or West Nile virus in mosquito samples indicates the presence of that virus in the area," said Dr. Gregson Pigott, Suffolk County Health Commissioner. "While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to take precautions and cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce exposure to mosquito-borne diseases."

Jamestown Canyon virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Fever, headache and fatigue are common symptoms of Jamestown Canyon virus.

Symptoms of severe disease may include stiff neck, confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, or seizures. There are no vaccines to prevent the virus. The treatment is supportive care.

Though Suffolk County has no reported cases of Jamestown Canyon virus, this virus has been isolated in mosquito samples in 2008, 2017 and 2022.

Residents are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. More information on Jamestown Canyon virus can be found on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/jamestown-canyon/index.html

Dr. Pigott offers the following tips to avoid mosquito bites:

- Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.

- Wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active.

- Use mosquito repellent, following label directions carefully.

- Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.

- Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, discarded tires, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, trash cans and rain barrels.

- Download a copy of Suffolk County's informational brochure "Get the Buzz on Mosquito Protection," available in English and Spanish, and share it with your community.

Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the Bureau of Public Health Protection at 631-852-5999 from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through 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.

Information from Suffolk County Department of Health

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