First human case of West Nile reported - WFSB 3 Connecticut

First human case of West Nile reported

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(WFSB file) (WFSB file)

Health officials confirmed on Friday that the first human case of the West Nile Virus this season was reported in Connecticut.

According to the state Department of Public Health, a New Haven resident tested positive for the infection.

The confirmation was reported last month. Department of Public Health officials said the patient is between the age of 50 and 59 and the victim's condition was unknown at this time. 

"No reason to panic take normal precautions like you normally would for anything at this time," Paul Kowalski of the New Haven Department of Health said.  

The patient was hospitalized with a high fever, dehydration and confusion. Lab tests confirmed the presence of the virus in the patient's cerebrospinal fluid.

"The identification of a Connecticut resident with West Nile virus associated illness that required hospitalization underscores the potential seriousness of the infection,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said in a statement on Friday.  

Kowalski said at this time of year a positive test result is about as shocking as bugs buzzing around your block party because the type of mosquitoes that cause West Nile are common in August and September.  

"They're gonna be prevalent as most other types of mosquitoes are they're gonna be a little more vicious this time of year," Kowalski said.

Health officials offered ways to stay safe this fall. 

“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,"  Pino said. 

Officials said they are continuing to monitor weather conditions in terms of their favorability to mosquitoes.

“These mosquitoes are most abundant in urban and suburban areas with dense human populations," said Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment station.

West Nile virus tested positive in mosquitoes in New Haven on Aug. 16, according to the DPH.

The city plans to hand out 600 bottles of repellent focusing in children and seniors, which at the two groups who are most at risk.They are also introducing larvicide into 4,000 storm drains and catch basins.  

West Nile virus has been detected in 26 towns, DPH officials added.

They include Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, Farmington, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Guilford, Middlefield, Wilford, New Canaan, New Haven, North Branford, North Stonington, Norwalk, Orange, Plainfield, Redding, Shelton, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Voluntown, West Hartford, West Haven and Westport. Mosquito trapping and testing began on June 5th with the first positive mosquitoes identified on June 29th in West Haven.

More information on state mosquito testing can be found here.

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