Suffolk: Brookhaven Resident Recovering from West Nile Virus

Mosquito Suffolk County health officials announced Thursday that a Town of Brookhaven resident infected with West Nile virus this summer is now recovering.

The individual infected with the virus, who is over the age of 50, officials said, was the first reported human case of West Nile in the county this year.

The patient was hospitalized for five days at a local hospital in August after experiencing symptoms consistent with the virus, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services said.

The New York State Department of Health’s website says there have been two positive West Nile virus infections in Nassau County, but specific details regarding those cases haven’t been released.

There’s been 158 positive mosquito samples collected in Suffolk and 32 in Nassau, according to local and state data.

“West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito,” Suffolk health officials said. “It can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death.”

It is common for most people infected with the illness to experience only mild symptoms, but others may develop more serve signs such as high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

Those with a higher risk of infection are people 50 years or older or those with compromised immune symptoms.

Health experts said residents can reduce the mosquito population around homes by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitos breed.

Both Nassau and Suffolk reported 14 positive human cases of West Nile in 2012. Nassau reported one West Nile-related death last year.

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