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Health - Wellness - Fitness




Ozone Health Advisory Wednesday, July 19

Ozone Health Advisory for Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an ozone health advisory for the Long Island region. Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken advises that young children, the elderly, those who exercise or are involved in strenuous outdoor work, and those with pre-existing respiratory or heart problems, limit strenuous outdoor activity. Ozone levels are often elevated after noon through early evening on hot, sunny days.

Air Quality Forecasts are available on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website athttp://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/aqi/aqi_forecast.cfm

Information about ozone and health is available on the New York State Department of Health website:




Nesconset, Huntington, Stony Brook Mosquito Samples Test Positive West Nile Virus


Three Mosquito Samples Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Residents are advised to eliminate standing water in and around homes

Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken announced today that three new mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. The sample, all Culex pipiens-restuans, were collected on July 3 from Stony Brook(1) and July 6 from Huntington (1) and Nesconset(1). The county has now confirmed four cases of West Nile virus in mosquitoes. The first case, reported on July 811, 2017, was collected in Melville (1) on June 28, 2017.

West Nile virus, first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999 and again each year thereafter, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. No humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus in Suffolk this year. 

“The confirmation of West Nile virus in mosquito samples or birds indicates the presence of West Nile virus in the area,” said Dr. Tomarken. “While there is no cause for alarm, we advise residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus, which can be debilitating to humans.”

According to Dr. Tomarken, most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, but some can develop severe symptoms including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. The symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. Individuals, especially those 50 years of age or older, or those with compromised immune systems, who are most at risk, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. 

To avoid mosquito bites, residents are advised to:

  • Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active.
  • Use mosquito repellent, following label directions carefully.
  • Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.
  • Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, discarded tires, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, trash cans and rain barrels.
  • Download a copy of Suffolk County’s informational brochure “Get the Buzz on Mosquito Protection,” available in English and Spanish, and share it with your community.

Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the Public Health Information Line in Suffolk County at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.

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

For further information on West Nile virus, visit the Department of Health Services’ website athttp://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/HealthServices/PublicHealth/PreventiveServices/ArthropodborneDiseaseProgram/Mosquitoes.aspx

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Assemblyman Fitzpatrick Hosting Blood Drive In Hauppauge


Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown), in partnership with New York Blood Center, will host a blood drive on Thursday, July 20 from 2 to 8 p.m. in the Meeting Room at the Hauppauge Fire Department at 855 Wheeler Road. All donors will receive a McDonald’s coupon for a free sandwich or salad as a thank you. 

“Super heroes don’t need to have supernatural powers, they can be just everyday people who diligently donate life-saving blood,” said Fitzpatrick. “Each of us possesses the power to save three people right now with a donation of blood. There is always a great need for donations, and I am happy to host a drive here to ensure my district has the opportunity to do its part.”

Roughly 2,000 blood donations are needed each day in the New York-New Jersey region. Especially helpful are type O negative blood donations, which are universally accepted by all patients regardless of blood type. However, all blood types are needed. Each blood donation can save up to three lives. Donations are used to help victims of life-threatening accidents and disease, help mothers and newborn babies and many others in need of the help a blood donation can provide.

Please bring identification with a photo or signature. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be between 16 and 75 years of age. Minors must have a parent’s or guardian’s permission. Those older than 75 may donate blood, but must have a doctor’s note. Those who have had tattoos in the last 12 months are not eligible to donate at this time. Please be sure to eat and drink plenty of fluids before the blood drive.

Appointments may be made by calling 631-724-2929. Walk-ins are also welcome. Questions about eligibility may be directed to 800-933-2566.


Suffolk Health Officials Issue Warning About Rabid Bats

Suffolk Health Officials Warn Residents to Take Precautionary Measures Following Report of Rabid Bats in Town of Islip

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) was notified today by the New York State Department of Health that three bats collected on June 12 and June 15 in the Town of Islip have tested positive for the rabies virus.  The bats were collected in Sayville, Islip Terrace and Islip. 

“We estimate that in any given year, three to six percent of the local bat population typically test positive for rabies; given that we have had three test positive in close proximity within days is reason for enhanced caution,” said Dr. James Tomarken, Commissioner of Health Services.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system. It is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection.

New York State and Suffolk County laws require that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating pets not only provides protection for the animals but also acts as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services recommends the following precautions to protect pets and your family from possible exposure to rabies:

·       Do not feed, touch or approach wild animals, or stray dogs or cats.

·       Be sure your pet dogs, cats and ferrets as well as horses and other livestock animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation.

·       Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.

·       Do not attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cover or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.

·       Do not transport or relocate any wild animals.

·       Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.


To keep bats from getting into buildings:

·       Do not leave unscreened doors open to the outside.

·       Do not leave unscreened windows open to the outside.

·       Make sure windows have screens, chimneys are capped, and electrical and plumbing openings are plugged.

·       Seal up all openings larger than 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch square into the attic, basement, walls, or occupied areas of the house.

·       Use materials such as expanding spray-on foam, caulk, wire mesh, wood that fits tightly, steel wool (around pipes that enter buildings), or polypropylene bird netting, to seal or cover gaps and holes.

If a bat is found in your home, avoid contact with it, attempt to contain the animal and contact the Department of Health Services immediately.  If possible, try to contain the animal so that it can be tested.

All animal bites or contact with wild animals should be reported by calling (631) 853-0333 weekdays, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  

After hours, animal bites or contact with wild animals should be reported by calling (631) 852-4820. 

For more information on rabies, visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/rabies/rabies.htm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/.