FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 29, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a resident of Westport has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection and is hospitalized. This is the eighth human WNV infection reported in Connecticut.
In the latest case, the Westport resident, who is between 50-59 years of age, became ill during the third week of September and is hospitalized for meningitis. Illness was characterized by fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Laboratory tests performed at the Department of Public Health Laboratory identified the presence of antibodies to WNV in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid. Mosquitoes infected with WNV had been previously detected in Westport on August 25 and most recently on September 8.
“West Nile virus can cause serious illness, especially in people over 50. Although the risk of getting sick from West Nile virus is declining, circulation of West Nile virus in mosquitoes will continue until the first hard frost,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.
So far this season, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been identified in 23 towns – Bethel, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, New Britain, New Haven, Orange, Stamford, Stratford, Stonington, Trumbull, Wallingford, West Hartford, West Haven, Westport and Wethersfield. Eight people, living in Bridgeport, Clinton, Greenwich, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Trumbull and Westport, have been reported with infections this year. Two additional Connecticut residents were infected while traveling out of the state.
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 or call toll free at 1-866-WNV-LINE (1-866-968-5463).