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Nassau reports year's 1st human case of West Nile on Long Island

The first human case of West Nile virus has been confirmed this year in Nassau, a county health spokeswoman said Friday.

A man older than 60 in the Town of Hempstead was hospitalized in mid-August and is now recovering, she said. The county did not release any other details of the man, who is the first known West Nile victim of 2014 on Long Island.

Four human West Nile cases and no deaths were reported in Suffolk last year, with eight cases and no deaths in Nassau, officials said.

In some cases, the virus causes serious neurological illnesses that can lead to permanent conditions or death. Last year, 2,469 cases of human infection were reported in the United States, resulting in 119 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some mosquito bites can transmit West Nile to humans, with mosquitoes picking up the virus by feeding on infected birds.

As for mosquito samples that have tested positive this year for the virus, there have been 79 in Nassau, and 111 in Suffolk, where 11 birds also tested positive, officials said.

Residents are advised to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed in and around their homes; to minimize outdoor activities and cover their skin in the evening and night when mosquitoes are most active; and to use mosquito repellent outdoors.

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