A New Haven resident has officially contracted the first reported human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Connecticut this year.
The person, who is between the ages of 30 and 39, had onset of the illness during the first week of August and was hospitalized the following week with meningitis related to West Nile, officials said. Symptoms included headache, stiff neck, nausea, and muscle weakness. The person was discharged from an area hospital and is recovering. Infected mosquitoes have been repeatedly trapped in New Haven and surrounding communities from July 12 through August 8.
“August and early September is the time of the year when people are at greatest risk of illness associated with West Nile virus infections,” said Dr. Randall Nelson, State Public Health Veterinarian with the Department of Public Health. “DPH urges everyone to take the warnings of the risk of mosquito-transmitted illness seriously and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.”
The first mosquitoes carrying the disease .
From June 27 to August 8 the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has identified WNV positive mosquitoes in 40 towns: Bethel, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Chester, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Killingworth, Meriden, Milford, Monroe, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, Newington, Newtown, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Old Lyme, Shelton, South Windsor, Southington, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Hartford, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, Wethersfield, and Wilton. Mosquitoes positive for eastern equine encephalitis were trapped in Chester on August 8.
Monitoring and risk assessment for WNV emphasizes mosquito trapping and testing results. The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday – Thursday nights at each site every ten days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Each pool is tested for the presence of viruses of public health importance. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES web site at www.ct.gov/caes.