Long Island News
West Nile Virus confirmed in Suffolk County
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Long Island health officials have confirmed this year's first case of West Nile virus in Suffolk County.
The mosquito-borne virus can be fatal.
Officials say this year's first victim was an adult younger than 55 years old from Babylon who was in the hospital for four days and has now recovered.
The person experienced fever, headache, muscle aches and a stiff neck and was hospitalized starting July 30.
In 2011, Suffolk reported four confirmed cases of the virus in humans and Nassau County reported 16, according to state records.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease is to avoid mosquito bites. Insect repellants, screens on doors and windows and wearing long sleeves and pants are some of the recommended strategies. Also, empty standing water from buckets, kiddie pools and other places to discourage mosquito breeding.
The West Nile Virus is mild for most people, but can be deadly for others with weak immune systems.
Some people experience only mild flu-like symptoms after contracting West Nile virus, but the infection can cause meningitis or encephalitis, which can result in a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.
Reducing Exposure to Mosquitoes
If you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus, see your doctor right away. The most common symptoms are headache, fever and extreme fatigue. For more information about West Nile virus, and how to avoid it, visit the Health Department website at www.nyc.gov/health or call 311.
Information on West Nile virus surveillance is available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/wnv/wnvrrs.shtml/a>.
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