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Child, adult infected with West Nile; bringing total to 5

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HARTFORD –  Two more people, a child and an adult, have been infected with the West Nile Virus this year, bringing the total to five cases.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health said Wednesday, “The most recent case was diagnosed in a child from Newington, who became ill earlier this month with fever and headache. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of WNV antibodies in the child. The child, who is between 5-10 years of age, was not hospitalized. The other patient, who is between 50-60 years of age and a resident of Monroe, became ill during the second week of August with meningitis and was hospitalized. The patient is still hospitalized but improving. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV. Neither of the new cases traveled out of the area before becoming ill.

“Labor Day weekend is a great time to be outdoors, but please take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, and if you are a parent, that includes your kids,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “I would also like to encourage our municipalities to treat storm drains with larvicides, this will help reduce the number of mosquitoes that can transmit WNV in September, especially if hot, humid weather continues. The WNV season will not end until the first hard frost in the fall.”

West Nile virus has been detected in the state every year since 1999. Before 2018, 134 human cases of WNV were diagnosed in Connecticut residents including three fatalities. Last year, three Connecticut residents were diagnosed with WNV infection.

Symptoms of WNV

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About 1 in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will have symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days to as long as several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not.
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