FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 26, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a resident of Bridgeport tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. This is the second Connecticut resident identified with WNV infection this season. A Sherman resident, reported previously, became ill during the third week of June.
The Bridgeport resident is over 80 years of age, and became ill during the second week of August with encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain. The illness was characterized by fever and confusion. The person is recovering but remains hospitalized. A blood sample tested positive for WNV antibodies. Since June 24, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped repeatedly in Bridgeport.
“The identification of a Bridgeport resident with West Nile virus and the continued identification of positive mosquito pools in areas of Fairfield and New Haven Counties are causes for concern,” said DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “I am urging everyone to follow recommendations to avoid mosquito bites. As the Governor recently emphasized, simple protective measures can make a significant difference.”
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in 20 towns – Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Milford, New Canaan, New Haven, Norwalk, Shelton, Stamford, Stonington, Stratford, West Haven, Westport, Wethersfield, and Wilton. Coastal towns in Fairfield and New Haven Counties are currently of particular concern.
To monitor WNV, the CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state from June through October. Mosquito traps are set every ten days at each site on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date.
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.