First 2 human cases of West Nile in CT reported

Ben Davidson
August 11, 2018

No human or animal cases of West Nile virus have been detected in the state this year.

Cases of the disease have been confirmed in 36 states including California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas, according to the CDC.

The last human case reported in Cascade County was in 2015, according to a press release from the Cascade City-County Health Department.

Cases generally tend to spike during the summer and fall months, between June and September, when activity is the most common.

"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, in a statement.

Brenda Miller is the manager of health protection and investigation with Region of Waterloo Public Health and said the region monitors 16 different sites for West Nile virus in recreational and residential areas.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the symptoms of severe cases include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor and disorientation.

The illness can sometimes be fatal with about one out of 150 infected people dying from complications due to the virus.

The cases, mostly in the western suburbs of Athens, mark a reappearance of the virus after an outbreak previous year when Greek authorities registered 48 cases, resulting in five deaths.

Since 1999, when the virus was first detected in CT, cases have cropped up ever year.

Health officials recommend minimizing potential exposure to mosquitoes and using approriate bug repellent. But the elderly and those with compromised immune systems can become seriously ill and could die.

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