Mineola - (WALK) Health authorities in Suffolk and Nassau have found West Nile virus among mosquito samples collected througout Long Island this summer, but an Oyster Bay woman is the first person on Long Island to be diagnosed with West Nile virus this season.
Health officials in Nassau say the unidentified woman presented symptoms of an infection in August. She was hospitalized, but is now recovering at home, according to a statement Thursday.
According to authorities* West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mild cases of West Nile infection (West Nile fever) may include a slight fever and head and body aches. Severe infections (West Nile encephalitis) may also include muscle weakness and may progress to encephalitis or meningitis.
Symptoms usually occur three to 14 days after exposure. There is no specific treatment for viral infections, other than to treat the symptoms and provide supportive care. Persons over the age of 50 are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from West Nile infection. Healthy children and adults are at low risk for serious illness from West Nile virus. Horses are susceptible to WNV infection and should be vaccinated.
In Suffolk: For information about the West Nile Virus or to report sightings of dead or dying crows and blue jays, contact the Health Department at (631) 853-3000.
*Suffolk County Department of Health Services
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ U.S. Federal Government-Public Domain