Nassau: 4 more human cases of West Nile

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Nassau County health officials confirmed four more human cases of West Nile virus Thursday, bringing the total to 11 in Nassau County, and 15 for all of Long Island.

Of the 11 Nassau cases, six are in the Town of Oyster Bay, four in the Town of Hempstead, and one in the Town of North Hempstead, said a spokeswoman for the Nassau County Department of Health.

As was reported earlier an elderly resident from Oyster Bay died, but all others are recovered or recovering, she said.

The onset of symptoms ranged from July 24 to Sept. 17, she said. Two residents were in the 40 to 49 age group; five in the 60 to 69 age group; one, 80 to 89; three, 70 to 79, she said.

Following New York State Health Department guidelines, Nassau and Suffolk do not release potentially identifying details, such as age and specific community, about people who contract the virus, officials said.

There have been four confirmed cases in Suffolk County, the most recent involving a Brookhaven resident younger than 55 years old, who "is recovering and currently undergoing rehabilitation," Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services Dr. James Tomarken said in a news release Wednesday. "The patient was . . . [hospitalized] in early September and displayed symptoms consistent with West Nile virus," Tomarken said.

The other three confirmed Suffolk cases are residents who "are in various stages of recovery," health officials said Wednesday. They are residents of Islip and Huntington, both older than 55, and a Town of Babylon resident younger than 55.

Suffolk County health officials are awaiting results from the state Health Department on eight other human cases considered probable for West Nile.

In 2011 Nassau reported 16 human cases of West nile, including one death, and Suffolk reported four cases and no deaths.

As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 4,249 cases of the virus, the highest number reported through the second week in October since 2003, according to the CDC website. More than one-third of those cases have been in Texas, the CDC said.

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Also this year, the New York State Health Department "has confirmed that a horse from East Hampton tested positive for West Nile virus in September and has since recovered," Suffolk health officials said Wednesday. "It is the only confirmed case of West Nile virus in a horse in Suffolk County this year."

West Nile is contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says West Nile symptoms include headache, body aches and fever. Some victims recover within days. Still, others can get more severe symptoms, including paralysis and disorientation.

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