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Health Commissioner Reports Fourth Human Case of West Nile Virus this Year

November 14, 2013



Health Commissioner Reports Fourth Human Case of West Nile Virus this Year


Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James Tomarken reported today that there has been fourth confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Suffolk County in 2013.  A male from the Town of Smithtown who is over 50 years of age was ill with fever, chills, and fatigue in September. He was never hospitalized and has recovered.


Previously this year, the county reported three confirmed cases of West Nile virus, two from the Town of Brookhaven and one from the Town of Huntington. All three individuals were over the age of 50, and all had been hospitalized and were in recovery.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to Dr. Tomarken, most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, though about one in five will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than one percent of those who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Symptoms of neurologic illness include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.

People over the age of 50 are at higher risk for encephalitis. The reasons one person becomes severely ill and another doesn't aren't entirely known.


Residents who have the symptoms of West Nile infection are advised to see a healthcare professional.

All residents are encouraged to reduce the mosquito population around their homes by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. 


For medical questions related to West Nile virus, residents may call the Department of Health Services at 631-854-0333.

Categories: Health

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