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Connecticut health officials are reporting that a third human case of West Nile virus has been identified in the state.
An elderly Southington resident tested positive for the virus after becoming ill during the first week in August, the Connecticut Department of Public Health said Friday. The individual, who is between 70 and 79 years of age, was hospitalized and is now recovering, DPH said.
This is the third human case of West Nile virus diagnosed in Connecticut this summer. The previous cases involved residents of Fairfield and Newington.
West Nile virus has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999. Three Connecticut residents were diagnosed with the West Nile infection last year.
A total of 134 human cases of West Nile virus were diagnosed in Connecticut residents before 2018. That includes three people who died as a result of the illness.
As of Thursday, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes have been detected in: Bethany, Bridgeport, Chester, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Franklin, Greenwich, Haddam, Hamden, Hartford, Madison, Manchester, Meriden, Middlefield, Milford, Monroe, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, Newington, North Branford, Norwalk, Orange, Shelton, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, Waterford, West Hartford, West Haven, Westbrook, Weston, Westport, Wethersfield and Woodbridge.
“We continue to see exceptionally high 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. “This is the critical time of summer when virus activity reaches its peak in the mosquito population.”
CAES warned that people are at greatest risk of West Nile infection in August and September.
“With higher temperatures forecast for next week, we anticipate further buildup of the virus in mosquitoes with increasing risk for human exposure,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases at the CAES. “We strongly encourage people in affected communities to take simple steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when biting mosquitoes are most active.”