2 CT residents test positive for West Nile virus, CTDPH reports


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Two Connecticut residents have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Tuesday.

The patients are between 70-79 years old and residents of West Haven and Bridgeport. They became ill during the third week of August with meningitis and meningoencephalitis, CTDPH reports. Both are hospitalized and recovering.

These are the first two cases of WNV-associated illness identified in Connecticut this season. The city of Bridgeport reports the patient from their city is the first case of West Nile Virus infection found in a human in the City of Bridgeport

This comes a week after the state health department announced WNV had been detected in mosquitos in 21 cities and towns across the state.

DPH facts about WNV:

  • WNV has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999
  • WNV is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the US
  • Most people (eight out of 10) infected with WNV do not develop symptoms
  • About one in five people who are infected develop West Nile fever, an illness that includes a fever and other symptoms such as body aches, joint pain, headache, or a rash.
  • About one out of 150 infected people develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system.
  • About one out of 10 cases of severe illness are fatal.
  • People over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of serious illness.

“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.”

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