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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Westport Resident Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

UPDATE A Westport resident has tested positive for West Nile virus, the eighth Connecticut resident to contract the disease, state and local health officials said today.

The resident, who is between 50-59 years of age, became ill during the third week of September and is hospitalized for meningitis, the state Department of Public Health said.

The illness was characterized by fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, it said.

Laboratory tests performed at the Department of Public Health Laboratory identified the presence of antibodies to WNV in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid, an announcement said.

Mosquitoes infected with WNV had been previously detected in Westport on Aug. 25 and most recently on Sept. 8.

“West Nile virus can cause serious illness, especially in people over 50. Although the risk of getting sick from West Nile virus is declining, circulation of West Nile virus in mosquitoes will continue until the first hard frost,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.

“This does not come as a surprise with mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus in Westport and in towns all around us,” said Mark A. R. Cooper, director of health at the Westport Weston Health District.

“It was only a matter of time. Conditions have been perfect for mosquitoes to breed and for West Nile virus to amplify within that population.”

He urged residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites by wearing clothing that covers skin surfaces, using mosquito repellents, and eliminating any pool of water in which mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

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Posted 09/29/10 at 03:14 PM  Permalink



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