Mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus, which so far this...

Mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus, which so far this year has caused at least two Suffolk residents to test positive for the disease, according to health officials. Credit: AP/Rick Bowmer

A 50-year-old resident of the Town of Brookhaven is the second Suffolk resident to test positive this year for the West Nile virus, according to county health officials.

The individual, who has underlying medical conditions, became ill in early September and is recovering at a rehabilitation facility, said County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott.

A Huntington Town resident who is over the age of 50 tested positive for West Nile on Sept. 1. He has since recovered, officials said.

"There is no discernible trend," Pigott said. "We know only about the cases in which the patient sought treatment and we received laboratory confirmation of West Nile virus. There may be many more residents who acquired West Nile virus, but we never learned about them because they didn’t seek medical attention or they sought attention but lab tests weren’t ordered."

The virus is transmitted to humans from mosquito bites and can cause severe symptoms such as muscle weakness, vision loss and neurological problems, which in some people are permanent.

People ages 50 and older or with compromised immune systems can get severely sick, while most other people who contract the virus could have mild symptoms, officials said.

Mosquito season starts June 1 and ends Nov. 1.

Suffolk County reported five people tested positive for the virus in 2020, along with three in 2019, and 11 in 2018, health officials said. Two deaths from West Nile were reported in 2017 in Suffolk, and three in 2010, health officials said.

Residents can report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water by calling the county's vector control division at 631-852-4270.

No cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Nassau so far this year.

A Town of Brookhaven resident is the second Suffolk resident to test positive this year for the West Nile virus, according to county health officials. The information was incorrect in a previous version of this article due to incorrect information provided by Suffolk County.

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