The most recent human cases of West Nile virus are residents of Bridgeport and Stamford, both between the ages of 50-59. The Stamford resident became ill during the first week of August. The Bridgeport resident became ill during the second week of July. Both were hospitalized for encephalitis.
“August is when people are usually infected with West Nile virus in Connecticut," said Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health. "While most people do not become severely ill from West Nile virus, people over the age of 50 are more likely to become ill and develop serious symptoms when infected.”
The Centers for Disease Control say the West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, . The most cases have been reported since the infection was first found in the U.S. in 1999.
Commissioner Mullen added that, so far this year, West Nile virus activity in the state is a couple of weeks earlier than usual but otherwise within the range of what has been identified in Connecticut over the past decade. Nationally, the 1,118 cases reported thus far represent the highest number of cases reported through the third week in August. Nearly half have been reported from east Texas.
Last year, there were nine reported cases of the infection in Connecticut residents and infected mosquitoes identified in 30 towns. So far this season, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has identified West Nile virus positive mosquitoes in 41 Connecticut towns.
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.
This story is based on a press release.