State officials are warning that the level of West Nile virus in the area appears to be elevated because of the hot, dry weather. The peak of West Nile season is usually in late August. But nearly 200 mosquitoes have already been found to be carrying the disease, which is passed back and forth between mosquitoes and birds.
Most of those cases—127—were in New York City. With the majority of the remainder in Nassau and Suffolk counties. One West Nile positive mosquito has been found in Rockland.
“A warm, dry summer is triggering an increase in West Nile Virus in the mosquito population earlier than expected,” said Commissioner of Health Richard F. Daines said. “Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as New York City, recently have detected West Nile Virus in mosquitoes at much higher rates than they have seen in the past several years at this time of the summer. In addition, there are a number of preliminary reports of possible human cases in Nassau and Suffolk counties that are being investigated.”
To see a list of precautions people can take to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, click here.