NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — Nassau County is reporting its first death blamed on the West Nile Virus.

The county health department says the victim was a North Hempstead resident over the age of 80. He fell ill on Aug. 8.

His symptoms included fever, weakness and altered mental status.

There have been 24 people infected and more than 100 mosquito pools that have tested positive in Nassau County this year. The New York City Health Department says there have been 13 cases in the city and no deaths.

Nassau health officials say residents can protect themselves by wearing mosquito repellent and covering up their arms and legs. The also say homeowners should change the water in birdbaths every few days.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes that often pick up the virus from birds they bite. Symptoms include neck stiffness and disorientation and can lead to coma and paralysis.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


More From CBS New York

Download Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE