First Two Human Cases of West Nile Virus Detected in Fairfield and Newington

A resident of Fairfield and a resident of Newington have tested positive for West Nile virus infection and they are the first two human cases of WNV-associated illness identified in Connecticut this season, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The patients are between 60 and 79 years old and became ill during the last week of July with encephalitis.

They were hospitalized and are recovering, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. One person remains hospitalized.

State officials said the people did not travel out of the state before becoming ill.

"The identification of two Connecticut residents with West Nile virus associated illness that required hospitalization underscores the potential seriousness of infection," Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said in a statement. "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." 

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile have been found in 19 cities and towns across the state and Gov. Dannel Malloy said last week that recent tests show that infected mosquitoes are rising at levels that are higher than normal for this time of year. 

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile have been found in Bethany, Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Franklin, Greenwich, Hartford, Madison, Manchester, Meriden, New Canaan, New Haven, Stamford, Stratford, Waterbury, Waterford, West Haven, and Weston.

See the mosquito trapping and testing report here.

Tips for reducing mosquitoes around homes:

  • Mosquitoes require water for reproduction. The following are measures that can help reduce mosquitoes: 
  • Eliminate standing water suitable for mosquitoes. Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling. 
  • Clean clogged roof gutters. 
  • Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use, such as wading pools and wheelbarrows. 
  • Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis. 
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools. When pools are not in use, use pool covers and drain when necessary. 

Tips for avoiding mosquito bites when outdoors:

  • Be particularly careful at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
  • Consider the use of CDC-recommended mosquito repellents, containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone, and apply according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
  • When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than 2 months old. 

Also, be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair to avoid mosquito bites when indoors. 

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