First West Nile human case detected in CT this season
The state Department of Public Health announced Monday, Aug. 17, that a Connecticut resident has tested positive for West Nile virus.
This is the first human case of West Nile-associated illness identified in Connecticut in the 2020 season.
The patient, who is between 40 and 49 years old, became ill during the second week of July with West Nile fever, and is recovering, the DPH reported.
Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to West Nile. The person lives in Waterbury, but may have been exposed to West Nile in the Newington/Wethersfield area, the DPH reported.
“The identification of a Connecticut resident with West Nile virus-associated illness emphasizes the need to take actions to prevent mosquito bites,” DPH Acting Commissioner Dr. Diedre S. Gifford said in a statement.
“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.”
Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment station, said “we continue to have weather conditions that are favorable for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus. 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, West Nile was found in 82 mosquito samples from 23 municipalities and one human case was reported.
Before 2020, 158 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Connecticut, including four that were fatal.
Most people (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile do not develop symptoms.
About 1 in 5 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 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.
For information on West Nile human cases in Connecticut, click here.