Suffolk man contracts NY’s first case of dengue fever

Suffolk man contracts NY’s first case of dengue fever

New York's first recorded case of dengue fever has been found in Suffolk County.

Health officials say the patient is a 50-year-old man from the Town of Babylon who was hospitalized in September.

Suffolk Health Commissioner James Tomarken says the mosquito-spread virus is usually found overseas in the Carribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He said since the Suffolk patient had not traveled outside the U.S., Suffolk health officials believe he contracted the virus from an infected person in New York.

"What we conclude happened is that a mosquito somewhere in the area bit a human who was infected who may not have known he was infected and then transmitted to the individual who is identified as our patient," said Tomarken.

Symptoms for dengue virus include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint pain and muscle and bone pain.

Severe cases of the virus have been known to be deadly.

Officials say the Suffolk County patient has fully recovered. Tomarken says there is no reason for the public to panic given that there is no reason to believe the fever will be a widespread problem.