|State Reports Human West Nile Virus Infections in Danbury and New London|
|Thursday, 02 August 2007 19:00|
Governor Rell Urges Precautions
Hartford - The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a resident of Danbury and a resident of New London tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection.
"These are the first Connecticut residents to be diagnosed with West Nile virus infections this year," said Governor M. Jodi Rell. "Now through September marks the peak time for transmission of this virus from mosquitoes to people, so we are urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites."
The Danbury resident is between 20 and 29 years of age, and became ill during the third week of July. This person was hospitalized for encephalitis characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, weakness, and memory loss. The New London resident is between 30 and 39 years of age, and also became ill during the third week of July. This person was hospitalized for meningitis characterized by headache, stiff neck, joint and muscle pain, and weakness. Both patients are recovering at home. Samples of cerebrospinal fluid from both patients proved positive for WNV in tests performed by the Department of Public Health (DPH) Laboratory.
"The identification of two Connecticut residents with West Nile virus and the recently announced positive mosquito pools are causes for concern. I am strongly suggesting that everyone follow all recommendations to avoid mosquito bites," said DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. "The State Mosquito Management program will continue to monitor the situation across the state and keep residents informed."
To date, positive mosquitoes have been identified in two towns, Manchester and West Haven. The positive mosquito pools were trapped on June 27 and July 24 respectively. These mosquito pools were both Culex pipiens, a species known to be important in WNV transmission in our region.
"We are collecting mosquitoes at trap sites located in communities statewide and will continue collections through October," said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES). "Our network of mosquito trap sites provides information that is critical for assessing the risk of West Nile virus transmission to people."
Most people who are infected and become ill with WNV will have a mild illness that may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or a skin rash. Less frequently, people develop severe illness of the nervous system that can also include neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Persons older than 50 years of age are more likely than younger persons to suffer the more severe health consequences if they become infected with WNV.
During 2006, eight Connecticut residents were diagnosed with WNV infection acquired in the state and one person was infected while traveling out of the state. One person, a resident of New Haven over 80 years of age, died.
Additional WNV information can be found at http://www.dph.state.ct.us/BCH/infectiousdise/pdf/Vol27No4_FNLCLR.pdf
The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is an interagency program consisting of the Department of 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.
Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:
Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:
Additional resources for information on West Nile virus and mosquito management: