Hartford, CT - The State Mosquito Management Program announced Wednesday that a Stamford resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. In addition, mosquitoes trapped by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) between August 15 - 22, 2011, have tested positive for WNV in four new municipalities this year: Hartford, Meriden, North Haven and Tolland.
"August is when we usually see human cases of West Nile virus," said Dr. Matthew Cartter, State Epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health. "While most people do not become severely ill from West Nile virus, people over the age of 50 are more likely to become ill and develop serious symptoms when infected. Everyone should take steps to prevent mosquito bites like using insect repellent, covering bare skin, and staying indoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active."
“As we continue to see an increase in the number of locations where West Nile virus infected mosquitoes are found, there will be an increased risk for human infection throughout the state, especially in densely populated communities,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Residents should do what they can to prevent mosquito bites, not only through the summer, but into early fall when mosquitoes remain active.”
A Stamford resident, between 60-69 years of age, became ill during the third week of August. The patient was hospitalized with encephalitis and has been discharged. Illness was characterized by fever, headache, and confusion. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV in a sample of the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid. Since June 2, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped repeatedly in Fairfield County. So far this season, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 30 municipalities: Branford, Bridgeport, Cromwell, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Litchfield, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Tolland, Trumbull, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, and Woodbridge. This is the first confirmed human case of WNV infection in Connecticut this season.
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.