A Hartford resident has become the third person in Connecticut to be infected with West Nile virus this season, according to the Department of Public Health.
The person is between the ages of 50 and 59 and became ill with encephalitis during the fourth week of August. That person is recovering, according to DPH.
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.
The Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station (CAES), which runs the state's mosquito trapping and testing program, is warning of an increase of mosquitoes testing positive in the state in recent weeks.
“We are seeing a late-season surge in the numbers of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, especially in coastal Fairfield and New Haven counties and in the greater Hartford area,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES. “The risk of West Nile virus is expected to continue until mosquito activity ceases in October."
So far this season, mosquitoes trapped in 34 towns have tested positive for West Nile virus. They are:
- New Britain
- New Canaan
- New Haven
- North Branford
- North Haven
- South Windsor
- West Haven