West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite...

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Credit: AP/Rick Bowmer

A second case of West Nile virus has been found in Suffolk County, this time in a patient who lives in the Town of Brookhaven, is over age 50 and became ill in early August, Suffolk County health officials said Wednesday.

The Suffolk cases are in addition to eight cases reported in Nassau County, officials said.
“The symptoms of West Nile virus may look like other conditions or health problems, which is why we advise residents who experience symptoms to see a healthcare provider," Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services Dr. Gregson Pigott said in a statement, adding: "A lab test is needed to confirm the diagnosis."

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Officials said it was estimated that 20% of those who become infected would 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. Officials said West Nile can be fatal.

People over 50 are at the highest risk of severe infection, as are those with chronic illness and compromised immune systems, Suffolk health officials said. While there is no specific treatment for West Nile, officials said patients may be offered supportive therapy as needed.

Last week, health officials announced a case of West Nile had been reported in a patient over 50 from Huntington who had been hospitalized with virus symptoms in late August.

For information about West Nile virus, visit the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ website at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Health-Services/Public-Health/Preventive-Services/Arthropod-borne-Diseases/Mosquitoes.

To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.

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