Two more residents of Suffolk contracted the potentially fatal West Nile virus, according to County Department officials, seven in all.
A 55-year-old Southold patient was symptom-infested with West Nil in September and is recovering at home, officials said. A 55-year-old resident of Huntington was also hospitalized with West Nile symptoms in September and has since recovered.
The five other cases reported this year have hit residents of the cities of Islip, Huntington, Smithtown, Brookhaven, and Babylon
"There is no apparent trend," Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk's healthcare officer. "We only know about the cases in which the patient wanted to be treated, and we received confirmation of the West Nile virus, there could be many more people who have acquired the West Nile virus, but we never have anything learn about them because they did not seek medical attention or sought attention, but lab tests were not ordered. "
West Nile is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. An estimated 20 percent of people who become infected develop symptoms of the disease.
The mild symptoms of the virus can be fever, head and body aches, rash and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms in more severe cases may include high fever, neck stiffness, drowsiness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.
Those most at risk of serious infection are people over the age of 55 and those with chronic illness or weakened immune systems. Residents are encouraged to remove stagnant water where mosquitoes could breed, and to seek medical treatment if they experience symptoms, Tomarken said.
Suffolk County reported seven human cases in 201
The mosquito season starts on June 1st and ends on November 1st.
For medical questions related to the West Nile virus, contact the Department of Public Health of the Suffolk Department of Public Health at 631-854-0333.
To report on mosquito problems or stagnant pools, contact the Department of Public Works' Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.