FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 17, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
State Reports Sherman Resident Positive for West Nile Virus
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a resident of Sherman tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. This is the first Connecticut resident identified with WNV infection this season.
“The announcement of the first person identified with West Nile virus this season should be taken seriously,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell. “I urge all of Connecticut residents to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while enjoying the outdoors in our beautiful state. ”
The Sherman resident is between 10 and 20 years of age, and became ill during the third week of June. Illness was characterized by fever, headache, nausea, and body aches. This person was not hospitalized and has recovered. A blood sample tested positive for the presence of antibodies to WNV. The person, who spent considerable time outdoors, had a history of mosquito bites and did not use mosquito repellent.
“The identification of a Connecticut resident with West Nile virus and the recently announced positive mosquito pools are causes for concern. I am strongly suggesting that everyone follow recommendations to avoid mosquito bites,” said DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “The State Mosquito Management program will continue to monitor the situation across the state and keep residents informed.”
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in three towns – Bridgeport, Stamford and Stonington. During 2007, WNV was identified in mosquitoes in 18 towns and there were four persons with WNV related illnesses.
To monitor WNV, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station 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.