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Suffolk Notebook: Mosquitoes Infected; Tomato Blight Reported

Bellone and Carpenter race heats up; West Nile Virus and late blight detected.

West Nile Virus Detected in Patchogue

County officials announced on Thursday that the first known case on Long Island in 2011.

was first confirmed in Suffolk County in 1999 and has been reported every year since.

“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," said Dr. James L. Tomarken, commissioner of the Suffolk County Health Services.

No human cases were reported as of this week, but Tomarken warned the virus, which is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, can cause permanent neurological effects – though, he added, most people will experience mild or no symptoms.

He also said people age 50 and older are most at risk, and suggested the following steps to reduce mosquito populations around homes:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all discarded tires on a property. 
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and keep shrubs and grass trimmed.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Drain water from pool covers.

Debilitating Plant Disease Detected on East End

Farmers on the East End are that mostly affects tomato plants and is highly contagious.

Meg McGrath, a plant pathologist with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Riverhead, said this year's strain is, "the worst outbreak in the U.S."

The disease caused the Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century, and thrives on damp conditions. It's thought that late blight started on Long Island this year in late May – early June in Sagaponack, and it's since spread to the North Fork.

Bellone, Carpenter Throw First Jabs of County Exec Race

Babylon Supervisor Steve Bellone and County Treasurer Angie Carpenter when the Bellone camp accused a county Republican-run website of making "false charges" on the supervisor's record and the Carpenter camp for "going negative" almost four months away from election day.

County GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle said the party is "hitting them with the facts," and Carpenter Spokesman Rick Belyea said the issue seemed to center on the name of the website itself: bigtaxbellone.com.

With plenty of time to go before Nov. 8, a Bellone spokesman said, "Everyone will get into the nitty-gritty going forward."

He added that the supervisor will in time respond to linked reports and a 66-second-long video featured on the website.

happy July 18, 2011 at 09:55 AM
If the goat never got caught in the fetzer valve this all could have been avoided.
Kelly Campbell July 18, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Ha ha, Fletch.

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