Prior to 2018, the most human West Nile virus (WNV) cases Connecticut health officials reported in a year was 21 in 2012.
However, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has reported 22 cases in 2018 to date, the highest case count on record.
Fairfield County saw 11 WNV cases, followed by Hartford (5), Middlesex (3), New Haven (2) and Windham (1). One fatality was reported in West Haven in New Haven County.
As of October 30, 2018, 2,204 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 1,342 (61%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 862 (39%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.
WNV is transmitted to people via a mosquito bite. Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will have symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days to as long as several weeks.
About 1 in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
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