First 2 human cases of West Nile in CT reported

First 2 human cases of West Nile in CT reported

First 2 human cases of West Nile in CT reported

Several local health departments have issued warnings urging residents to stay safe, especially after deaths were confirmed in Iowa, Texas and North Carolina.

West Nile virus is transmitted from birds through bites by the Culex pipiens mosquito.

Mosquitoes tested at various locations, including Hartford's Keney Park, have tested positive for the West Nile Virus this year.

Health experts say that they expect the incidence rate to only keep increasing as the scorching heat drags on, and are encouraging the public to protect themselves.

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Cases generally tend to spike during the summer and fall months, between June and September, when activity is the most common.

Brenda Miller is the manager of health protection and investigation with Region of Waterloo Public Health and said the region monitors 16 different sites for West Nile virus in recreational and residential areas. Symptoms of these diseases might include headache, rash, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma, and paralysis.

The warmer weather has contributed to a sharp increase in the number of West Nile virus infected mosquitoes in Saskatchewan, the health authority indicated in a media release Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that one in 150 people infected develop a serious illness that affects the central nervous system. Wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks and a hat is recommended, as is using insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin.

Since 1999, when the virus was first detected in CT, cases have cropped up ever year. Earlier this week, the Montana Department of Livestock confirmed the first reported cases of equine West Nile Virus in Montana of the year.

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