FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 20, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Louis Magnarelli
“We wish this person a speedy recovery from this serious illness. This case reminds us of how serious West Nile virus can be and how important it is to do what we can to protect ourselves from mosquito bites,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “Simple things like wearing long-sleeved shirts, using insect repellant, and minimizing time outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active can help reduce the risk of being bitten.”
A New Haven resident between 60 -69 years of age, became ill during the second week of August and is currently hospitalized. Illness was characterized by fever, headache, and confusion. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV. The person spent considerable time outdoors and did not use mosquito repellent. Since July 24, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped repeatedly in New Haven County.
So far this season, positive mosquitoes have been identified in 12 towns – Bethel, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Manchester, Meriden, Milford, Norwalk, Orange, Stamford, West Haven, Westport and Wethersfield. In addition to this confirmed case, there has been one probable case of West Nile virus infection identified this year.
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) according to species, collection site, and date. Each pool is cultured for the presence of viruses of public health importance including West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses.
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.