Five people test positive for West Nile in Connecticut
On Thursday, state officials said five people have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Department of Public Health.
Four of those people are located in Bridgeport, and the fifth person is located in Shelton. Four of the five were hospitalized.
The virus was detected between Aug. 16 – Sept. 6 and the patient’s ages range between 30-80 years old. No fatalities have been reported.
Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said the number of West Nile-infected mosquitoes in Bridgeport have “declined significantly” over the past three weeks, but residents should still take precautions when spending time outside.
“There is still a risk of new human infections in Bridgeport and several other Connecticut towns where infected mosquitoes have been repeatedly identified, especially along the coast from New Haven to Greenwich,” Armstrong said in a statement Thursday.
“While the threat of virus transmission to people is subsiding, four human cases is an unusual number in one town, and we are closely monitoring the situation with the Bridgeport Health Department and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station,” said Dr. Randall Nelson, an infection disease epidemiologist with the department of public health, in a statement. “We continue to remind residents of the importance of taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”
The West Nile Virus has been found in 23 Connecticut towns so far this year, with 14 of those towns located along the Long Island Sound shoreline, officials said. The communities include Cheshire, Chester, Darien, East Haven, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Guilford, Haddam, Hartford, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Stonington, Stratford, Waterford, West Haven, Westport, Wethersfield and Wilton.
Six people were infected with West Nile virus last year. Five were hospitalized.
Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website.
For information on West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website.