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West Nile Find Prompts Limits at 2 Islip Parks

Gardiner County Park in Bay Shore and Byron Lake Park will only be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily after one mosquito from each park was found to carry the disease.

As West Nile season continues to rage on Long Island, Suffolk County and the Town of Islip on Monday moved to limit hours at two Islip parks after mosquitos there tested positive for the disease.

Gardiner County Park in Bay Shore and Byron Lake Park in Oakdale will only be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, the county's health department announced in a statement, after one mosquito from each park was found to carry West Nile.

To date, 109 mosquitos and four birds have been found to carry the dangerous virus, though no horses, and more importantly no humans, have tested positive for the disease.

“The confirmation of West Nile virus in a mosquito pool indicates that the virus is actively circulating within the mosquito population,” said health department Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken in a statement. “While there is no cause for alarm, we urge residents to cooperate with us in our efforts to contain the spread of the virus which can be debilitating to humans.”

The potentially deadly West Nile, if contracted, brings symptoms ranging from headaches and high fever, to neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis, in worst cases leaving people with permanent neurological damage.

Dead beds around your property could be a sign that West Nile is in your area. Report any dead birds to the county health department by calling the West Nile virus hotline at 631-787-2200, though it is only open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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