FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 2, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a resident of Greenwich has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection and is hospitalized.
The Greenwich resident, between 80-89 years of age, became ill during the last week of August and is hospitalized for encephalitis. Illness was characterized by fever, headache, and confusion. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV.
“I want to remind residents that this is the peak time of the year in Connecticut for West Nile virus infections and, especially for people over 50, infection can be associated with serious illness,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “To reduce the risk of infection I am urging everyone to adopt those simple things like wearing long-sleeved shirts, using insect repellant, and minimizing time outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active to avoid mosquito bites.”
So far this season, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been identified in 19 towns – Bethel, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, Manchester, Meriden, Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, New Britain, New Haven, Orange, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven, Westport and Wethersfield. Three people, living in Greenwich, New Haven and Trumbull, have been reported with infections this year. Two additional Connecticut residents were infected while travelling out of the state.
To date, mosquitoes with eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) have been identified in only in North Stonington. No illnesses in people or horses attributed to EEE have been reported.
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.