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Health and Fitness

Health and Fitness

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Gallery: Push Against Cancer for Kids

Scenes from today’s eighth annual Push Against Cancer for Kids at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts to Raise funds for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. Dave Matlow for


06/04/17 11:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 02, 2017

Connecticut Joins Alliance Committed to Paris Climate Accord

By Mark Pazniokas

Connecticut became one of the early states to rebuke President Trump’s disavowal of the Paris climate accord with a decision today by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to join a fast-growing coalition of states, cities, businesses and universities intent on ensuring the U.S. still acts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Malloy, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, joins the Democratic governors of California, New York and Washington state in the United States Climate Alliance, a group quickly organized Thursday by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others in the wake of Trump’s announcement the U.S. would stand apart from the world’s nations on the issue of climate change.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who declined to support Trump or attend the Republican National Convention, signed on later today, according to the Boston Globe.

The decision was an easy one for a governor in Connecticut, a state with a long history of bipartisan support of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Gina McCarthy, a top advisor to the Obama administration on the issue, was the state’s top environmental regulator under Malloy’s predecessor, Republican M. Jodi Rell.

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06/02/17 08:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Comings & Goings: Rich Dean Boxing & Fitness Relocates Image
Rich Dean Boxing & Fitness has relocated from 10 Bay St. to nearby 230 Post Road East, near Colonial Green.  According to owner Rich Dean (l), the gym offers strength and conditioning classes, weight loss classes, circuit training and even boot camps. Dean said he also conducts private trainings upon request, with all classes fit for women, men, and children. The business opened on Bay Street in September 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/17/17 12:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Changes at One of Westport’s Oldest Medical Practices

There are big changes occurring at one of Westport’s oldest medical practices, Internal Medicine Associates of Westport (IMAW). Image
Moving downstairs: (l-r) Drs. David Baum, Jill Denowitz, Nina Karol, and Robert Telster. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Four of the seven IMAW doctors are leaving to form their own concierge medicine practice — David Baum (nine years at IMAW), Jill Denowitz (23 years), Nina Karol (18 years), and Robert Telster (10 years).

Three doctors are remaining at IMAW — Robert Altbaum (the senior doctor at 35 years), Jay Horn (18 years), and Elizabeth Mckinnis (two years). Additional personnel have been hired.

IMAW’s origins go back almost six decades when Paul Beres and Harold Steinberg opened a practice on Main Street. Later it moved to 162 Kings Highway North and two years ago to 333 Post Road West.

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05/16/17 05:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, April 28, 2017

Free Skin Cancer Screening Set for May 7

The Westport Weston Health District and Fairfield County Dermatologists will host their annual free skin cancer screening on Sunday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the District said today.

It will take place at the Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane, Westport. Screening is free and no appointment is necessary. 

For additional information, contact Monica Wheeler, RN at (203)227-9571, ext. 242. The District thanked dermatologist Robin Oshman of Westport for volunteering her professional services to conduct these screenings as she has done for many years.

The District said skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and it is increasing in incidence. The American Academy of Dermatology says that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.


04/28/17 09:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, April 24, 2017

Panel Focuses on Teen Domestic Violence

By James Lomuscio

The film clips were quick but deeply disturbing. All choreographed control and abuse under the banner of love, an abuse on track toward becoming teen domestic violence. Image
Among participants in the discussion were (-r) Westport Police Lt. Jillian Cabana, Alison Roach, Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) attorney advocate, and Nicole Dodge, DVCC advocate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Produced by the One Love Foundation, the clips shown tonight in the Westport Library’s McManus Room dramatized the manipulation and coercion present in troubled teen relationships.

Using the line “Because I love you,” the actors justify jealousy over a lab partner, incessant phone calls and texts, and isolating a girlfriend or boyfriend from friends and even family.

In one scene a young man even threatens to smash his girlfriend’s phone because she did not answer.

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04/24/17 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

FDA Nominee Gottlieb Says He’d Challenge Trump on Vaccines

By Ana Radelat

Washington – Scott Gottlieb, a Westport doctor, today calmly defused tough questions from Democrats during the confirmation hearing on his nomination to head the Food and Drug Administration, promising to safeguard the agency’s rigorous review of drugs and medical devices. Image
Scott Gottlieb delivers his opening statement at the confirmation hearing today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from C-SPAN

He also said he would keep his independence from the White House and oppose President Donald Trump if he maintains vaccinations could cause autism. Trump has tweeted there could be a link.

Gottlieb also said he would not be influenced by any sector of the healthcare industry, despite his job at New Enterprise Associates, a large venture capital firm that is heavily invested in medical technology and healthcare companies.

“I want to earn and keep the public’s trust,” Gottlieb told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

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04/05/17 08:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 27, 2017

Human Services Gets New Director

After eight months on the job, Sarah Heath has resigned as Westport’s director of human services and First Selectman Jim Marpe has named Assistant Director Elaine Daignault to the position, he announced today. Image
Elaine Daignault: 18-year department veteran. Contributed photo

Heath, who took over from Barbara Butler July 1, 2016 and who has been a department employee for nine years, has accepted a position in another town — later announced as Wilton — effective April 4 and that will be the date of Daignault’s appointment, Marpe said.

“I want to thank Sarah for her many contributions to the town and the Human Services Department,” he said.

Heath said in her time with the town, “I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing, dedicated, and caring professionals and volunteers … I am happy that Elaine will continue as director of the department. Westport is in very capable hands.”

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03/27/17 03:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 10, 2017

Trump Selects Westporter to be FDA Head

President Trump announced today that he will nominate Westport resident Scott Gottlieb, a conservative physician and businessman with deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry, to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Image
Scott Gottlieb: Westporter awaits Senate confirmation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) American Enterprise Institute photo

A physician and partner at one of the world’s largest venture capital funds and a former deputy commissioner at the FDA, his name surfaced in December as one of the front runners for the post. (See WestportNow Dec. 12, 2016)

If confirmed, Gottlieb would bring a strong pro-industry, deregulatory approach to an agency that Trump has criticized as being overly restrictive, The Washington Post reported.

“But he is also likely to support one of the agency’s basic functions: to ensure that drugs are proven safe and effective before they are sold,” the newspaper said.

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03/10/17 07:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 09, 2017

CT Resident Dies From Tainted Cheese, Recall Ordered

A Connecticut resident has died after eating tainted cheese from a New York creamery, the state Department of Public Health said today.

A Whole Foods grocery store in Fairfield received the soft cheese, and the store initiated its own recall, state officials said.

The cheese is called Ouleout and it comes from the Vulto Creamery of Walton, N.Y.

Two of six people who ate the cheese contracted a rare, but serious bacterial disease, officials said.

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03/09/17 03:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Comings & Goings: Orangetheory Fitness to PRE Image
Orangetheory Fitness opens at 645 Post Road East sometime before May, according to the manager of its Norwalk studio. The Florida-based franchise business has more than 500 locations nationwide. Wilton residents Mark and Fred Molina are the franchise owners of locations in Fairfield, which opened in 2014, Norwalk, which opened last year, and the Westport location. The Fitness center offers one-hour group classes tailored to the individual participant.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/18/17 09:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Information Session Set for Hospice House

The Westport Library will host an information session on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. about the Fairfield County Hospice House (FCHH) in Stamford. Image
The Fairfield County Hospice House is now under construction in Stamford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Topics will include an update on the facility, now under construction, as well as what to consider when making decisions about hospice and end-of-life transition, an announcement said.

There also will be a discussion about how the team behind the FCHH worked with Connecticut legislators to enable multiple persons to receive home hospice care in a single residence.

A change in legislation paved the way for the construction of the six-bedroom, 10,000-square foot house located in a residential neighborhood of Stamford just off the Merritt Parkway.

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02/15/17 01:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine’s Day Heart to Heart Talk Image
In a timely topic on Valentine’s Day, Westport resident Jeffrey Berman, vice chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Bridgeport’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, today addressed the Westport Rotary Club on the significant strides in cardiology over recent decades. Emphasizing the importance of seeking prompt medical care immediately upon symptoms of a heart attack, Berman said, “Most deaths from heart attacks happen outside the hospital. Inside the hospital the death rate is a much lesser — 1 to 2 percent.” He said seven points of prevention reduce the risk of a heart attack by 95 percent. The seven are: control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes plus four that are “lifestyle-driven” — not smoking, a proper diet, controlled body weight, and an exercise regimen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/14/17 02:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Analysts: Big Pot of Money Awaits CT if Marijuana Legalized

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Connecticut could bring in $45.4 million to $104.6 million a year in revenue if the legislature legalizes marijuana in the same way Massachusetts or Colorado have, Connecticut’s nonpartisan fiscal experts say.

The estimates, by the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis, were for the second full fiscal year after legalization of the drug and varied depending on which state’s model for taxes and licensing fees was followed.

If the legislature allowed municipalities to also apply a 2 percent sales tax to marijuana, cities and towns could collectively bring in $9 million by the second full year of legalization, OFA estimated.

The revenue would be smaller in the first full year of legalization, between $30 million and $63.9 million for the state and $5.6 million for municipalities. The growth from year to year reflects that experienced in Colorado since legalization in 2014.

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02/07/17 10:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, February 06, 2017

Flu Cases on the Rise; WWHD Still Has Vaccine

The Westport Weston Health District, (WWHD) noting that flu activity continues to increase throughout the nation and is widespread in Connecticut, says it still has vaccine available.

If you have not received your annual flu vaccination, you are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible, an announcement said.

“The flu season will peak around February and March but the season can continue until May, so it is not too late to get vaccinated,” said Mark Cooper, WWHD director of health.

And Monica Wheeler, registered nurse, said the district has seen a significant spike in locally reported cases.

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02/06/17 01:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, December 12, 2016

Report: Westporter Being Considered as FDA Head

Westport resident Scott Gottlieb, a physician and partner at one of the world’s largest venture capital funds and a former deputy commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to run the agency, according to sources close to the transition team, the Reuters news agency reported. Image
Scott Gottlieb: reported on short list to head FDA. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) American Enterprise Institute photo

Gottlieb, 44, a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, is well known in health policy circles and is a frequent commentator on television and in print.

Gottlieb, who purchased his Westport home in 2010, is a former internist at Stamford Hospital. He served as a deputy commissioner at the FDA from 2005 to 2007.

He is concurrently a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine and advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a member of the Federal Health IT Policy Committee.

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12/12/16 03:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 17, 2016

Flu Shot Clinics Underway Image
Monica Wheeler of the Westport Weston Health District today gives a flu shot to Westporter Iris Frey. There was a large turnout for flu shots at the district office on Bayberry Lane. The next flu shot clinic will be on Monday, Oct. 24 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by one Tuesday, Nov.1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday, Nov. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There will also be a clinic on Thursday. Nov 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


10/17/16 06:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Comings & Goings: Fountain of Youth Closes Retail Outlet Image
Fountain of Youth, a health organic market located at 1789 Post Rod East in the Westfair Shopping Center opposite Stop & Shop, has closed its retail store. Owners John and Kay Moretti, Westport residents, said their store, in the same location since 1983, has been driven out of business by the internet, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and others who also sell natural food products. “We were here before what we do became mainstream,” said John Moretti. “Marlo Thomas and Paul Newman were among our frequent customers.”  He added, “We’re not going out of business, just closing this shop. Our customers can still purchase our products by calling us at the same phone number, (203)259-9378. We’re doing mail order and, if local, one-hour delivery service.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/01/16 03:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

For Zika, West Nile, Health District Urges‘Bug Smarts’

By James Lomuscio

You don’t have to have a pond, large water feature or even a bird bath to spawn mosquitoes prone to harbor the Zika virus, says Mark A. R. Cooper, director of health for the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD). Image
Mark A. R. Cooper: take precautions. File photo

Even a bottle cap that fills with water is enough, he says.

“When you walk around your garden and see and standing water, even in bottle caps, get rid of them,” Cooper said, adding that residents insistent on water features use mosquito larvae killing, nematode donuts.

“Zika mosquitoes are going for the smaller things to leave their larvae, the smaller things, the bottle caps, soda, old coffee cups,” he added. “So, as you’re enjoying the outdoors, get rid of standing water. That will address West Nile. That will address Zika.”

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08/09/16 09:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

CT Gets Nearly $1M to Combat Zika Virus

By Kyle Constable

State officials have nearly $1 million in new funds at their disposal to fight the Zika virus after receiving a pair of federal grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is giving the Connecticut Department of Public Health two grants – a $579,000 grant announced Monday and a $400,000 grant announced today – to protect Connecticut residents from the Zika virus and monitor existing cases.

Florida’s governor announced Monday as many as 14 cases of the Zika virus in his state may have been locally transmitted – the first cases of the virus transmitted in the continental United States.

The $579,000 grant announced Monday will be used to “support and enhance the state’s efforts to protect Connecticut residents from Zika virus and monitor serious birth defects, like microcephaly, and other adverse health outcomes that can be caused by Zika virus,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office said.

Click here for more of story


08/02/16 09:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Making History, RTM Approves Disabilities Commission

By James Lomuscio

To a round of applause, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a new Westport Commission on People with Disabilities.

Sarah Heath, the town’s new human services director, made the proposal, saying such a commission had been “almost 10 years in the making.”

The idea for a disabilities commission took root in 2007 when the Community Inclusion Task Force, which had been appointed by the Health & Human Services Commission and the Westport Weston United Way, issued its final report.

Heath said that creating the new town body would demonstrate “that Westport is a community where people with disabilities are valued,” and that they contribute to the town.

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07/19/16 09:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Senate Poised to Quash CT GMO Food Labeling Law

By Ana Radelat

Washington – The U.S. Senate is expected to move forward Wednesday on a bill that would pre-empt Connecticut’s genetically modified food labeling law, replacing it with a national food safety standard advocates say would be much weaker and not apply to many foods. Image
A GMO notice on the side of a box of Wheaties. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Last week the Senate held a procedural vote – approved 68-29 –  on the contentious issue of labeling genetically modified organisms in food, or GMOs. Its sponsors, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, call the legislation a compromise.

The Roberts-Stabenow bill would create a mandatory labeling regime for food made with genetically modified organisms. Food makers would be required to either print a text message on the package disclosing whether a product contains GMO ingredients, or print a QR code or an internet link directing customers to GMO information not on the package.

Food safety advocates, who say they were caught off guard by the Senate’s action, have dubbed the bill the “Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act.”

Click here for more of story


07/05/16 09:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Comings & Goings: New York Sports Clubs Closing Image
New York Sports Clubs, 427 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, will close July 31 after 14 years at the location, according to employee Michael Pettway. He said all members are being offered a refund or a transfer of membership to another New York Sports Club with the nearest in Stamford and Greenwich. Pettway, who said the decision to close was a corporate one, has been employed by the club for about one year and was offered a position at the Stamford location. He said there are about 10-11 employees in Westport, which opened in January 2002.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/03/16 04:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, June 04, 2016

‘Push Up Against Cancer’ Attracts Hundreds Image
Individuals and teams from across Connecticut gathered at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion today to show their strength and determination to raise money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp during Mental Grit Fitness’ 7th Annual Push Against Cancer event. See video here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/04/16 10:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 06, 2016

Agency Head: Mosquito-control Funding Cut

By Arielle Levin Becker

Pending cuts to state funding for mosquito control could pose a problem for the agency that monitors the insects for the Zika virus and other diseases, the director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said today.

“It’s really not adequate for us to do what we want to do,” Theodore G. Andreadis said after a press conference with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on the Zika virus.

But Malloy said money necessary for screening and testing mosquitos would be made available, whether in the budget or not.

The budget deal reached this week by the Malloy administration and Democratic legislative leaders would cut funding for mosquito control at Andreadis’ agency from $507,516 to $446,779 for the upcoming fiscal year – a 12 percent decrease. Legislators are expected to vote on the budget during a special session next week.

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05/06/16 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fourth Zika Virus Case in CT

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that a fourth Connecticut patient, a non-pregnant woman in her 30s, has tested positive for the Zika virus.

The patient traveled from the Caribbean to Connecticut on April 25 and became ill on April 29, the DPH said. Her symptoms included fever, rash and conjunctivitis. 

The patient and her physician have been informed of the test result.

The State Laboratory confirmed the patient’s test result using PCR testing. This level of testing is used for patients who are actively experiencing symptoms of the virus.

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05/06/16 03:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

CT Pregnant Woman Tests Positive for Zika Virus

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that a pregnant Connecticut woman has tested positive for Zika virus.

According to DPH, the patient became ill with a fever and rash while traveling in Central America. It was during this trip that the patient conceived.

The patient has since returned to Central America, a news release said.

DPH officials contacted the patient’s Connecticut physician today with the positive result and are working to get in touch with the patient or her family to ensure that she seeks medical care while she is out of the country, DPH said.

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05/03/16 06:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, April 25, 2016

House Passes ‘Comprehensive’ Opioid Bill

By Arielle Levin Becker

After a floor debate laced with stories of the toll drug addiction has taken across Connecticut, the House today unanimously passed what legislators described as a comprehensive measure aimed at curbing the epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse. Image
Sue Kruczek, wearing her son Nick’s memorial hockey jersey, speaks earlier this year in favor of a bill to cap the supply of opioid prescriptions. Nick died at age 20 of a heroin overdose after initially taking prescription opioids. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Arielle Levin Becker for

The proposal, approved 144-0, would require first responders to carry overdose-reversing drugs, limit initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies in most cases involving acute pain, make changes to a prescription monitoring program aimed at helping prescribers identify patients who could be misusing drugs, and charge the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council with developing a plan to reduce the number of opioid-induced deaths in the state.

Drug overdoses now kill an average of two people in Connecticut each day – more than car accidents. Last year, 723 people died from accidental drug overdoses in the state, and more than 60 percent involved opioids.

“They’re digging graves in every town in Connecticut,” Public Health Committee Co-Chair Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said. He noted that more than 50 bills on the topic were submitted to the committee at the start of the session – a sign of the level of concern among lawmakers across the state.

Click here for more of story


04/25/16 10:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 21, 2016

Westport Lauded as Clean Energy Leader

By James Lomuscio

Connecticut’s clean energy future seems bright, according to a Town Hall forum tonight that drew about 25 persons. Image
Tonight’s clean energy forum praised Westport’s clean energy efforts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

And leading the way is Westport, cited as “a great example” of a community taking the reins.

The auditorium forum was orchestrated by state Rep. Johnathan Steinberg, who had invited Acadia Center, a nonprofit clean energy advocacy group, to discuss alternative energy advancements over the past decade, plus future efforts.

At the last minute, Steinberg, who had been scheduled to give a legislative perspective on state efforts, was unable to attend due to a family emergency.

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03/21/16 10:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 18, 2016

First Confirmed CT Case of Zika Virus

The State Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that the first case of Zika virus in Connecticut has been detected by its state laboratory. Image
An Aedes species mosquito that transmits the Zika virus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) CDC photo

According to DPH, the patient, 60-69 years of age, traveled to a Zika-affected area and had onset of illness on the day of return in early March. 

The patient’s illness was characterized by skin rash, conjunctivitis, fatigue, chills, headache, and muscle aches, an announcement said. The patient has been seen by a physician and is recovering.

In January, Gov. Dannel p. Malloy directed DPH to test for Zika virus. The tests were conducted at the DPH Laboratory, which was approved for and began testing for Zika virus on Feb. 29, the DPH said.

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03/18/16 07:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

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