DPH Announces First CT Human Cases of West Nile Virus This Season


Two people in Connecticut have contracted West Nile virus.

They are the first two cases of West Nile virus in humans in the state this season, according to the Department of Public Health.

Both patients are between 70 and 79 years old and became ill in the third week of August with meningitis and meningoencephalitis, DPH said.

One is a West Haven resident and the other lives in Bridgeport.

"The identification of two Connecticut residents with West Nile virus-associated illness requiring hospitalization emphasizes the potential seriousness of this infection," said Dr. Deidre S. Gifford, senior advisor to the Governor for Health and Human Services, and acting commissioner of the Department of Public Health. "As we approach the cooler weather and the holiday weekend, it is important to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 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."

West Nile virus is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the U.S.

Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus do not develop any symptoms. Those that do can experience fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In rare instances, people can develop serious illness, including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, vision loss, paralysis, and coma. It can be fatal.

West Nile virus has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999, according to the DPH.

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