BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – After six human cases of West Nile were diagnosed in Bridgeport, the city said it is continuing to work closely with officials at the state level to beat back the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes.
Most people who are infected by the virus don’t experience any symptoms. However, some develop life-threatening illnesses, including inflammation of the brain.
“Statewide the numbers of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes have declined significantly,” Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said in a press release. “However, there is still risk of new human infections in Connecticut towns where infected mosquitoes have been repeatedly identified, especially along the coast in New Haven and Fairfield counties."
So far this year, eight people across Connecticut have been infected by the virus. Six of those cases have been in Bridgeport.
According to Bridgeport’s Department of Health, the risk of being infected by the West Nile virus typically subsides in October due to lower temperatures. However, because of inconsistent weather patterns this month, Bridgeport’s Health Department is urging residents to be increasingly vigilant in taking precautionary measures at this time.
Residents over age 50 who spend time outdoors are at greatest risk of contracting the virus, according to Bridgeport health officials. Health officials recommend the following in order to protect against the West Nile virus:
- Homeowners and businesses should remove standing water around their property.
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are most active.
- Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect babies when outdoors.
- Consider using mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
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