An ultra-low volume sprayer
An ultra-low volume sprayer. Photo: Adapco

State and Suffolk County health officials are reporting an additional mosquito sample has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus. The mosquito sample, of Culiseta melanura species, was collected in the Manorville area on Sept. 18, the Suffolk County health department said in a press release yesterday.

To date this season, Suffolk County has reported seven samples that have tested positive for EEE.

The county has also announced that it will spray parts of Manorville and Calverton with Anvil (sumithrin) tonight (Saturday, Sept. 28) in response to confirming EEE in another mosquito sample in the area.

The pesticide will be applied between 7 p.m. and midnight tonight, weather permitting. If weather cancels treatment the spray will be rescheduled for Monday, Sept. 30.

The ultra-low volume pesticide application will be made by truck in the Manorville/Calverton area from River Road at the Swan Lake Golf Course, north to Grumman Boulevard and east to Connecticut Avenue and south to the Long Island Railroad tracks, according to the county press release.

Eastern equine encephalitis, like West Nile virus, is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Though Eastern equine encephalitis is rare, it is a potentially deadly illness for humans. The disease is also a concern for horses, though a vaccine is available and recommended for horses.

Residents in the Manorville/Calverton area designated for pesticide application should remain inside, if possible, when spraying is taking place and for 30 minutes after spraying, the health department said. Children and pregnant women in particular should take care to avoid exposure.

Close windows and doors and close the vents of window air-conditioning units to circulate indoor air or, before spraying begins, turn them off. Windows and air-conditioning vents can be reopened about 30 minutes after spraying.

If you come in direct contact with pesticide spray, protect your eyes. If you get pesticide spray in your eyes, immediately rinse them with water. Wash exposed skin. Wash clothes that come in direct contact with spray separately from other laundry. Consult your health care provider if you think you are experiencing health effects from spraying.

The materials used by Suffolk Vector Control do not leave significant residues on surfaces, the health department said, but exposure can be reduced even further. Bring laundry and small toys inside before spraying begins. Wash with detergent and water if exposed to pesticides during spraying. Bring pet food and water dishes inside, and cover ornamental fishponds during the spray period to avoid direct exposure. Pick homegrown fruits and vegetables you expect to eat soon before spraying takes place. Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables (in fact all produce) thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.

“We don’t want people to be alarmed but rather informed,” said Dr. Tomarken. “We will be treating the Manorville area for mosquitoes this weekend, and we encourage residents to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”

Health officials also reported yesterday an additional mosquito sample that tested positive for West Nile virus, this one in Dix Hills. To date this season, Suffolk County has reported 74 mosquito samples testing positive for West Nile virus. There have been two human cases of West Nile virus reported by Suffolk County so far this year. There have not been any human or horse cases of EEE in Suffolk this year.

Health officials urge all residents, especially people over 50 and people with compromised immune systems to take precautions when outdoors by using an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellens. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the health department said.

“People should avoid going outside from dusk to dawn when most mosquitoes are active, wear long sleeves and long pants when night-time activity is unavoidable, eliminate standing water from flowerpots, clogged gutters, recycle bins, birdbaths, toys, and swimming pool and hot tub covers,” the health department said in the press release.

To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.

Suffolk County Division of Vector Control can be reached at 631-852-4270.

For information on upcoming pesticide applications, call the the county’s Spraying Information Hotline 631-852-4939

or visit the health department pesticide application notification webpage.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.