West Nile Virus Detected at William Floyd Estate

Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) announced on August 10 that West Nile Virus (WNV) was detected in a mosquito sampling from the William Floyd Estate at Mastic Beach, New York. The mosquitoes were collected on July 25 from a trap set by the Seashore as part of its Mosquito Monitoring Program. This program is a collaborative effort between FINS and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Arthropod-Borne Disease Laboratory.

FINS, along with Suffolk County, will continue its weekly surveillance program to monitor the severity and extent of WNV within the boundaries of the Seashore. As per the Seashore’s Mosquito Monitoring Protocols, there will be increased surveillance at the William Floyd Estate, where WNV was detected.

If threats to human health are identified, actions to protect the public may need to include control methods such as larviciding, spraying, or area closures. The National Park Service works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Suffolk County Department of Health Services Arthropod-Borne Disease Laboratory, Suffolk County Vector Control, and local Fire Island and Long Island municipalities to determine the best course of action to protect residents, visitors, and employees of the FINS. The public will be notified 24 hours in advance of any spray event.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Visitors should take precautions to reduce exposure to the virus by avoiding areas with high densities of mosquitoes. If contact with mosquitoes is unavoidable, it is advisable to minimize outdoor activities when mosquitoes are active, wear protective clothing (long sleeved shirts, socks, and long pants) and use effective insect repellent, such as one containing at least 30% DEET. People most at risk of becoming ill are those over 60 years of age or whose health is impaired.

For general information on WNV, please contact your local health department. Information can be obtained from the CDC, or New York State or Suffolk County WNV websites. If you have information or questions for the park, please contact us at FIIS_information@nps.gov.