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Suffolk reports second West Nile virus case

An undated file photo of a mosquito.

An undated file photo of a mosquito. Photo Credit: Getty Images

A second human case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in Suffolk County -- a Town of Huntington resident older than 55 who was hospitalized earlier this month and is now recovering at home, county health officials said Thursday.

The person had "experienced fever, headache, weakness, altered mental status and shortness of breath," the Suffolk County Department of Health Services said.

On Aug. 6, Suffolk County reported the first case of West Nile virus on Long Island this year. A Town of Babylon resident had been hospitalized and since has recovered, health officials said.

Suffolk's second case comes a day after Nassau County reported its first case this year -- that of a Town of Oyster Bay resident, a woman older than 70, who became ill on July 27, was hospitalized and is now recovering, a news release from the Nassau County Health Department said.

About 20 percent of those who contract West Nile virus, spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, will develop noticeable symptoms, including "fever, headache and body aches, and occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands," Suffolk's release said.

As of Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 1,118 human cases had been reported nationally, including 41 deaths. The number of cases reported through the third week of August is the highest since 1999, when the virus first was detected in the country, the CDC said. Nearly half of this year's cases have been reported in Texas.

As of yesterday, five cases have been confirmed this year in New York City, with seven more, including Suffolk's second case, in the rest of the state, a state Health Department spokesman said. One person, in Onondaga County, has died.

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