Two cases of West Nile virus have been reported by County Health Commissioner Suffolk. James Tomarken, reported.
These are the first cases reported in Suffolk County this season. This is clear from a press release issued this afternoon by the Ministry of Health.
Both persons are over 50 years old and live in the city of Islip. The first person developed symptoms in mid-August and was hospitalized for several days before being discharged. The second person fell ill at the end of August, was hospitalized with West Nile Encephalitis, and recently discharged from the health department to recover at home.
The West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is estimated that 20% of those infected develop clinically apparent symptoms of West Nile virus disease. About one in five people develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can persist for weeks or months.
Serious illnesses can occur in people of all ages; However, people over the age of 60 are at greater risk. People with certain conditions such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and those who have received organ transplantation are also at higher risk. Recovery from a serious illness can take several weeks or months. Some effects on the central nervous system may be permanent.
About 1 in 10 people who have severe central nervous system disease die.
There is no specific treatment for the West Nile virus. If necessary, patients are treated with supportive therapy.
WNV cases occur during the mosquito season, which begins in summer and lasts until fall. Residents are advised to use insect repellents registered in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this season. When used as intended, EPA-registered insect repellents have proven to be safe and effective, even for pregnant and nursing women. Also, avoid going out from dusk to dawn when most mosquitoes are active, wear long sleeves and long pants when nighttime activities are inevitable, and remove stagnant water from flower pots, clogged gutters, wastebaskets, bird baths , Toys, swimming pool and whirlpool covers.
The number of human cases of West Nile virus varies from year to year. Suffolk County reported 11 cases in 2018, 2017 seven, 2016 and 2015 five each, 2014 one, 2013 five, 2012 14, 2011 four and 2010 25.
"There is no trend to recognize," Dr. Tomarken. "We only know about the cases in which the patient was seeking treatment and have received a laboratory confirmation of the West Nile virus. There may be many more people who are infected with the West Nile virus, but we have never heard of them because they did not seek medical help or because they asked for attention, but lab tests were not ordered. "
Individuals who have medical issues related to the West Nile virus can contact the Department of Health Services: 631-854-0333.
Call the Vector Control Division of the Department of Public Works to report problems with mosquitoes or standing pools at 631-852-4270.
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