Public health officials announced five more Connecticut residents have tested positive for West Nile Virus, including three in Fairfield County.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) said Thursday that the new cases bring the total number of residents infected statewide to 15.
Three of these cases involved residents in Danbury, Norwalk, and Stamford, the department said. The fourth patient is a resident of Thompson in Windham County and the fifth is from Westbrook in Middlesex County.
The infected range in age from 40 to 70-years-old, and three of the five required hospitalizations. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of WNV antibodies in all five patients. All five patients became ill in early to mid-September, DPH said.
“It is very unusual for us to have this many people seriously ill with WNV infection in September,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “More warm weather is forecast for this weekend and many Connecticut residents will be outdoors enjoying the state’s country fairs, family gatherings, and other events, especially in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active.”
Using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites will reduce the risk of getting WNV infection, Pino added.
Department officials said that although the cooler months are ahead, the danger continues until the first hard frost in October.
The severe symptoms of the virus 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.
Milder symptoms 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.
For information on West Nile virus and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit www.ct.gov/mosquito .
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