First Human Cases Of West Nile Virus Reported In Connecticut

Aug 13, 2018

West Nile disease incidence by state, as of January 9, 2018.
Credit Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The year’s first two human cases of West Nile virus have been diagnosed in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health said the two patients became ill during the last week of July. Both are between 60 and 79 years of age, and both contracted the disease in state.

They are residents of Fairfield and Newington. One remained hospitalized as of late last week.

Health officials say 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms. But one in 150 people become seriously ill and require hospitalization.

Since 1998, 134 people in Connecticut have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. Three have died.

In Rhode Island, officials from the Department of Environmental Management reported Friday that two batches of mosquitoes had tested positive for West Nile virus. The samples came from Tiverton and Pawtucket, and were taken on July 30th.

Officials in Massachusetts have also reported positive tests for West Nile virus.

There have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported this year in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. Last year six cases of the virus were reported in humans in Masschusetts, according to The Boston Globe.

Health and environmental officials recommending protecting yourself from mosquitoes by using bug spray and wearing long sleeves and pants. You can also minimize the risk of infection by removing standing water from gutters and other places around your home.

This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies including Rhode Island Public Radio joining together to tell stories of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.