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Concern over West Nile Virus in Suffolk County

August 17, 2012 3:20:40 PM PDT
175 Mosquito samples in Suffolk County have tested positive for West Nile Virus so far this year, making it one of the worst years in Suffolk's history.

"We've been getting rain lots of rain so it's a concern," said Nicholas Curdo, a Lake Ronkonkoma resident.

James Tomarken, the director of the Suffolk County Department of Health says the county has been trying to keep up by doing a lot of spraying.

"We do adult icing," Tomarken said, "and then we do larvae sighting in marshy areas."

The Health Department gets tips about possible hot spots by people calling in when they see dead birds.

Mosquitoes feed off the birds which carry the West Nile Virus, but there are things you can do to protect yourself, especially if you're around bodies of water or swampy areas, particularly in the early morning or dusk.

Repair all window and door screens around your house to keep the mosquitoes out.

It's very important to get rid of all standing water around your house.

Also, use bug spray if you're going to be outside for extended periods of time.

"I think it's important that people not be frightened. Some years are worse than others but not people should be panicked or worried," Tomarken said.

Beverly Kleinman isn't worried about herself personally.

"Normally I'm not a candidate. I guess I'm not sweet enough, they don't usually bite me," Kleinman said.

For more information please visit: http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/PublicHealth/PreventiveServices/WestNile.aspx

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