Connecticut state health officials reported today on the first human West Nile virus (WNV) case of 2020. The patient, a Connecticut resident between 40-49 years of age, became ill during the second week of July with West Nile fever, and is recovering.
“The identification of a Connecticut resident with West Nile virus associated illness emphasizes the need to take actions to prevent mosquito bites,” said DPH Acting Commissioner Dr. Diedre S. Gifford. “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.”
“We continue to have weather conditions that are favorable for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment station (CAES). “These mosquitoes are most abundant in urban and suburban areas with dense human populations.”
West Nile virus is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. and has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999. Last year, CAES detected WNV in 82 mosquito samples from 23 towns and one human case was reported. Before 2020, 158 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Connecticut, of which 4 were fatal. For information on WNV human cases in CT, click here.
Most people (8 out of 10) infected with WNV do not develop symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop West Nile fever, an illness which includes a fever and other symptoms such as body aches, joint pain, headache, or a rash. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system. About 1 out of 10 cases of severe illness are fatal.
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