August 23, 2012
Second Human Case of West Nile Virus in Suffolk County
Hauppauge, NY – Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James L. Tomarken said today that the New York State Department of Health has confirmed a human case of West Nile virus, the second human case in Suffolk County this year.
The case involves a Town of Huntington resident, over 55 years of age, who experienced fever, headache, weakness, altered mental status and shortness of breath and was hospitalized early this month. The patient is currently recovering at home.
On August 6th, the health department reported the first case of West Nile virus in a Town of Babylon resident who was hospitalized and has since recovered. Another case that was reported in July as being probable for West Nile virus has not been confirmed by New York State’s laboratory.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death. It is estimated that 20 percent of those who become infected will develop clinically noticeable symptoms of West Nile virus disease. Mild symptoms include fever, headache and body aches, and occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Residents who experience any of these symptoms are advised to visit their health care providers.
Dr. Tomarken asks residents to reduce the mosquito population around homes, by eliminating stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
The county offers an informative bulletin entitled “Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Illnesses,” which contains tips on personal protection and repellents. To download the brochure, visit: http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Portals/0/Documents%20and%20Forms/Health%20Services/Seasonal/Mosquito%20Brochure.pdf
Dead birds found on area properties may indicate the presence of West Nile virus in the area. To report dead birds, call the West Nile virus hotline in Suffolk County at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.
For medical questions related to West Nile virus, call 631-853-3055.