Suffolk County Mosquito Tests Positive For Deadly 'Triple E' Virus

August 09, 2019 - 12:57 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A sample tested in Manorville, Long Island found a mosquito was carrying the triple E virus, or the Eastern equine encephalitis virus.

Suffolk County health officials said Thursday that they are asking New York State to "confirm a declaration of an Imminent Threat to Public Health" beacuse of it. 

"It is potentially, a deadly mosquito virus but not everybody who gets it will all the bad outcome,"Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said. "Some people will have what we call systemic symptoms. Fever, muscle aches. And then there is a small percentage, in the four to five percentage range who develop swelling of their brain. 30 percent will succumb to that."

Health officials urge residents to take precautions such as using bug spray, wear long sleeves and pants and making sure you screens on your windows are in good repair can be taken in order to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito.

Another eight mosquito samples collected in late July throughout Suffolk have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the county. That virus can cause mild to severe symptoms, such as fever and vomiting, and has "no specific treatment," according to the county.

Dr. Tomarken, said the Triple E virus is very rare in humans, only five to six cases per year in the United States.