ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Public health officials in New York state are reminding residents of the dangers posed by mosquitoes after West Nile Virus was found in two counties.

The New York State Department of Health says members of the public can protect themselves by eliminating standing water in their yards. Used tires, pots, clogged gutters, pools and outdoor recycling containers can all serve as mosquito breeding areas. In addition, residents should also use repellants and avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.

West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes trapped this year in Rockland and Suffolk counties. It’s the first time this year the disease has been identified in the state. Another mosquito-borne illness, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, has not been found in the state so far this year.