County Commissioner of Health Services Dr. James Tomarken reported today a new
human case of West Nile virus in Suffolk County.
The Town of
Islip resident, who was under the age of 50, began experiencing symptoms
associated with West Nile virus in late September, was subsequently
hospitalized, and is currently recuperating in a rehabilitation facility.
To date this
year, Suffolk County has reported seven cases of West Nile virus, two of which
resulted in death. Of the seven cases, two resided in the Town of Brookhaven,
two in the Town of Smithtown, two in the Town of Islip and one in the Town of
said, “In northern climates we receive a reprieve from mosquitoes during the
colder months, and it is during these months that we ask our residents to
resolve to adopt new habits during mosquito season. We urge residents to use
mosquito repellants before going outdoors and to continually empty containers
that hold water. This practice is especially important for people over 50 years
of age and those with chronic illness or compromised immune systems who are
most at risk for severe infection.”
Dr. Tomarken, approximately 20 percent of people who become infected with West
Nile virus will develop clinically noticeable symptoms of West Nile virus
disease. Mild symptoms may include fever, headache and body aches, skin rash
and swollen lymph glands. More severe symptoms include high fever, headache,
neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle
weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. West Nile virus can be fatal.
Residents who experience symptoms are advised to visit their healthcare
providers promptly. While there is no specific treatment for West Nile
virus, patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed.
who have medical questions related to West Nile virus may call the Department
of Health Services: 631-854-0333.
mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public
Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.