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Risk of West Nile Virus Continues: Third Human Case Identified In The State Virus-positive mosquitoes continue to be detected in Connecticut towns 9/9/2021 Governor Lamont And Public Health Commissioner Gifford Express Concern Over COVID-19 Outbreaks…

Press Releases

09/10/2021

Risk of West Nile Virus Continues: Third Human Case Identified In The State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 10, 2021

CONTACT:    

Chris Boyle
Director of Communications
Phone: (860) 706-9654
Email: christopher.boyle@ct.gov
 
Dr. Philip Armstrong              
Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station                                                     
Phone:(203) 974-8510                                                          
 

Risk of West Nile Virus Continues: Third Human Case Identified In The State

Virus-positive mosquitoes continue to be detected in Connecticut towns

Hartford, Conn – The Connecticut Department of Public Health today announced a third Connecticut resident has tested positive for West Nile virus infection. This patient is between 50-59 years of age, became ill during the fourth week of August with encephalitis, and is recovering. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV.  This patient is a resident of Hartford. The previous two patients diagnosed with West Nile-associated illness are residents of the towns of Bridgeport and West Haven and became ill during the third week of August. Both these patients are recovering.

In addition, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station today announced WNV has been detected in mosquitoes from 34 towns in Connecticut this season. SinceJune 21, CAES has identified WNV-positive mosquitoes at trap sites in Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Litchfield, Manchester, Middlefield, Milford, Meriden, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, Newington, Newtown, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Ridgefield, Somers, South Windsor, Southington, Sprague, Stamford, Stratford, Waterford, West Haven, Westport, Wethersfield, Wilton. 

“We are seeing a late-season surge in the numbers of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, especially in coastal Fairfield and New Haven counties and in the greater Hartford area,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, a medical entomologist at the CAES. “The risk of West Nile virus is expected to continue until mosquito activity ceases in October."

"Historically, August and September are the months of greatest risk for acquiring West Nile virus infection," said DPH Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford.  "Now is the time to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites."

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes residents should:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active.  Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
  • Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States and reemerges every summer in Connecticut.  Before 2021, 166 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Connecticut, of which four were fatal.

The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture, and the University of Connecticut Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science. These agencies are responsible for monitoring the potential public health threat of mosquito-borne diseases.

The CAES maintains a network of 108 mosquito-trapping stations in 88 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday – Thursday nights at each site every ten days on a rotating basis and then twice a week after detection of the virus. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website at https://portal.ct.gov/CAES/Mosquito-Testing/Introductory/State-of-Connecticut-Mosquito-Trapping-and-Arbovirus-Testing-Program.

For information on WNV and EEE, what can be done to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, the latest mosquito test results, and human infections, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at https://portal.ct.gov/mosquito.

 

Published by: Heather Trabal, MD

Heather.Trabal@ct.gov