West Nile Virus Expands, But No Human Cases Reported Yet

Aug 24, 2017

West Nile Virus is “rapidly expanding” in Connecticut, according to state officials, who said infected mosquitoes have been found in 20 towns.

Philip Armstrong, director of Connecticut’s mosquito monitoring program, said this month’s weather is a big reason for the spike in West Nile detections.

“These systems are very weather sensitive and, typically, it’s the hot, humid weather that really enhances the mosquito activity: their biting activity, and the mosquitoes reproduce more quickly,” Armstrong said. “So there are more of them in these types of conditions.”

Armstrong said Fairfield and New Haven Counties have been particularly hard-hit -- but so far this year, no human infections have been reported.

Death or severe illness from West Nile is rare, but Armstrong said elderly populations can be especially at risk. When outside, he said to cover up exposed skin and use mosquito repellant.

“The other thing I might add is that the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus are most active at dusk and dawn, and into the evening hours,” Armstrong said. “Those are the times when you want to be most vigilant.”

Since 2000, a total of 131 human cases of West Nile have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents, and three people have died.