Potentially deadly disease found in Suffolk mosquito sample

Posted: Updated:
MANORVILLE -

The Suffolk Health Department is sending out a warning about a potentially deadly virus found in mosquitoes in the county.

Officials say a mosquito sample taken from Manorville tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis. Suffolk hasn't seen mosquitoes with the virus, which can also kill horses, in nine years.

Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken says the mosquito that carries the virus doesn't bite humans. He says another type of mosquito would have to bite an infected animal, such as a bird, and then bite someone to pass along the virus.

Still, he has asked state health officials to declare an imminent threat to public health, which would enable the department to spray in other areas in Suffolk.

At Hidden Pond Stables in Manorville, owner Carolyn Jolly says she's doing what she can to protect the horses, to which the virus can be fatal if not vaccinated. There's no vaccine for humans.

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