Officials: 4th human case of West Nile in Suffolk

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Suffolk health officials Wednesday confirmed a fourth human case of West Nile virus in the county this year.

The patient, a resident of Brookhaven younger than 55 years old, "is recovering and currently undergoing rehabilitation," Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services Dr. James Tomarken said in a news release. "The patient was . . . [hospitalized] in early September and displayed symptoms consistent with West Nile virus," Tomarken said.

There have been 11 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus this summer on Long Island, according to health officials.

A Nassau health department spokeswoman said Wednesday the county has reported a total of seven West Nile cases, including an elderly resident from Oyster Bay who died. Of the seven cases, five were in the Town of Oyster Bay, one in the Town of North Hempstead and one in the Town of Hempstead, officials said.

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Following New York State Health Department guidelines, Nassau does not release potentially identifying details, such as age and specific community, about people who contract the virus, officials said. The other three confirmed cases of West Nile in Suffolk 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. Health officials are awaiting results from the state Health Department on eight other human cases considered probable for West Nile.The 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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