First human case of West Nile Virus identified in CT for 2017 season

HARTFORD —  The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that a resident of New Haven has tested positive for West Nile virus infection.

This is the first human case of the virus identified in Connecticut this season, according to the DPH.

DPH said “a patient between 50-59 years of age, became ill during the last week of August. The patient was hospitalized with high fever, dehydration and confusion. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid.

DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. said “the identification of a Connecticut resident with West Nile virus associated illness that required hospitalization underscores the potential seriousness of the infection. Using insect repellent, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors during the hours of dusk and dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes.”

Officials said they are continuing to monitor weather conditions in terms of their favorability to mosquitoes.

“These mosquitoes are most abundant in urban and suburban areas with dense human populations,” said Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment station. “West Nile virus positive mosquitoes were first identified in New Haven on Aug. 16.”

According to the DPH, West Nile virus has been detected in 26 towns.

“During 2017, WNV has been detected in mosquitoes collected at trap sites in 26 towns including: Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, Farmington, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Guilford, Middlefield, Wilford, New Canaan, New Haven, North Branford, North Stonington, Norwalk, Orange, Plainfield, Redding, Shelton, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Voluntown, West Hartford, West Haven and Westport.”