Health alert in Suffolk after mosquitoes found with EEE

Suffolk health officials issued a health alert Friday after three mosquito samples tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, but they say residents should not panic. ?Eastern Equine Encephalitis

News 12 Staff

Aug 29, 2008, 11:27 PM

Updated 5,807 days ago

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Suffolk health officials issued a health alert Friday after three mosquito samples tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, but they say residents should not panic.
?Eastern Equine Encephalitis has a very high fatality rate,? Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. Humayun Chaudhry says. ?Half the people who get this virus will die.?
Despite EEE?s high fatality rate, officials say there have been only two cases of the disease in New York State and none in Suffolk.
Health officials say the incidence of the disease in mosquitoes may be centered in the Manorville area, where the positive samples were from. They are now discussing plans for ground or aerial spraying there and more testing out east.
?Like many people I have mixed feelings about spraying and the environment, so in this case if they are using low toxicity stuff I'm for it,? Dr. Jerry Levin, a Manorville resident, says.
Others say it is something that should have been done during the summer and not toward the end.
EEE is similar to West Nile, but much more aggressive, health officials say. Symptoms emerge in 80 percent of the people who get it. Experts say residents should remove all standing water from their property and take precautions when going out after dusk.
Click for more about the symptoms of EEE
Suffolk County Dept. of Health Services - 631-853-3055Suffolk County Dept. of Public Works' Vector Control Division - 631-852-4270U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Report sightings of dead or dying birds (specifically crows, bluejays, hawks, falcons, owls, exotic birds or if multiple birds of any type are found dead) in Suffolk County by calling 631-787-2200 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To report mosquito problems, call the Department of Public Works? Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270


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