The State Mosquito Management Program today announced a Stratford resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. This is the first human case of WNV associated illness identified in Connecticut this season.

The Stratford resident, between 60-69 years of age, became ill during the last week of July and reported being bitten by mosquitoes prior to onset of illness. The illness was characterized principally by joint and muscle pain, and diarrhea. Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies to WNV. The person was not hospitalized and is recovering.

“If you’re planning to spend time outdoors this Labor Day weekend, it’s very important that you take steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites,” said Department of Public Health veterinarian, Dr. Randall Nelson. “Using insect repellant, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors during the hours of dusk and dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten.”

West Nile virus activity varies each year and is difficult to predict. Generally, the greatest risk for transmission to people from infected mosquitoes is from early-August to mid-September. This season, circulation of WNV positive mosquitoes is highest in coastal towns from Greenwich to Branford and in central Connecticut in Glastonbury.

“Although mosquito populations are declining, we continue to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus in several areas of the state,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES). “This trend is likely to continue through September with further expansion to more communities.”

Since June 27, the CAES has identified WNV positive mosquitoes at trap sites in 16 towns: Branford, Bridgeport, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Manchester, New Haven, Norwalk, Plainfield, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterford and Westport.

For information on West Nile virus, including what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.

The above came as a press release fro Connecticut Department of Health.