HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (1010 WINS) -- Six mosquito samples in Suffolk County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, health officials announced Thursday.
Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott says the samples, collected from Sept. 6-12, came from Cold Spring Harbor, Brentwood, Riverhead, Bohemia and two from Bay Shore.
The virus was first detected Suffolk in birds and mosquito samples in 1999, and has reappeared every year since.
According to CDC data, there have been nine U.S. deaths linked to the virus this year.
Health officials said most people infected with West Nile will experience mild to no symptoms, but some can develop severe issues like high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
Symptoms can last multiple weeks, and neurological effects from infection can be permanent.
“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples and birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” said Dr. Pigott. “While there is no cause for alarm, we ask residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce exposure to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.”
Health officials offered several tips to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, including minimizing outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, using mosquito repellent and wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active.