County health officials have announced that a second Brookhaven Town resident who died last month tested positive for West Nile virus.
As in the first case, reported on Sept. 20, the person is described only as older than 50 years old.
She or he “began experiencing symptoms associated with West Nile virus late in August, was subsequently hospitalized, and died in mid-September,” reads an announcement from the county health department issued Friday. “The individual was not known to have any underlying health conditions.”
“I extend my sincere condolences to the individual’s family,” said Dr. James Tomarken, the county’s commissioner of health.
Meanwhile, New York State recently confirmed West Nile virus in an person who is under the age of 50 and lives in the Town of Babylon. That person became ill with symptoms consistent with West Nile virus in mid- September, was hospitalized, and is now recovering at home, officials said.
To date this year, Suffolk County has reported two deaths associated with West Nile virus in Suffolk County among a total of six confirmed cases. Of the six cases, two occurred in the Town of Brookhaven, two in the Town of Smithtown, one in the Town of Islip, and one in the Town of Babylon.
Suffolk County reported five human cases in both 2015 and 2016, one case in 2014, and four cases in both 2011 and 2013, the county reports.
Comparatively, the county reported 14 human cases in 2012 and 25 in 2010, the year in which the virus claimed three lives. No lives have been lost due to West Nile virus since 2010.
Prior to 2010, the virus claimed two lives in both 2002 and 2003 in Suffolk County.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, Wednesday’s announcement reads. It is estimated that 20 percent of those who become infected will develop clinically noticeable symptoms of West Nile virus disease.
More from the county:
Mild symptoms of West Nile 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. West Nile virus can be fatal.
Residents who experience symptoms are advised to visit their healthcare providers. While there is no specific treatment for West Nile virus, patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed.
Individuals who are most at risk for severe infection include those over 50 years of age and those with chronic illness or compromised immune systems. These individuals are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during mosquito season, which extends from June 1 through Nov. 1.
Individuals who have medical questions related to West Nile virus may call the Department of Health Services: 631-854-0333. To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the Department of Public Works’ Vector Control Division at 631-852-4270.