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First Human West Nile Case Reported in Suffolk

Health department says victim lives in Brookhaven town and has fully recovered.

Suffolk authorities on Thursday confirmed the first human case of West Nile in 2013, a Brookhaven local who the health department said spent five days in the hospital recovering from the virus.

According to the Suffolk County Department of health, the 50-year-old patient was hospitalized in late-August.

This year has been a slower year than 2012 in terms of human cases of the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be deadly. In 2012, four human cases of West Nile virus were reported, while the county found 210 mosquito samples and 38 birds test positive that year. In 2013, the county has so far recorded 158 mosquito samples and four birds carrying the virus.

Still, the slower West Nile season hasn't meant fewer bugs buzzing in your ears. Patch readers across the county have reported a surge in backyard bugs, specifically the newcomer Black Tiger mosquitoes, which can be very tenacious.

The county said about 20 percent of people infected with West Nile will show symptoms, which include fever, headache and body aches, an occasional skin rash and swollen lymph glands.

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