Officials watching out for West Nile
(08/08/03) WESTPORT - Across the U.S., West Nile virus has spread more rapidly to humans this season than in past years. Now, Connecticut doctors and health officials are keeping an extra careful eye out for signs of the sickness in the state.
So far, 164 cases have been reported and seven people have died this season in the United States. No Connecticut hospitals have reported any cases yet, but some doctors are saying that human cases in the state are inevitable.
Birds from all over Connecticut are testing positive, including in Newtown, Shelton and Trumbull. More and more mosquitoes are testing positive, and some doctors predict human cases could surface as early as next week. In the past, cases of West Nile have usually appeared in mid to late August.
West Nile virus, spread primarily through mosquito bites, can be treated but has no known cure. Doctors say that people should be cautious, and make sure to wear insect repellent when outdoors. Doctors also say that if you suspect you may have been infected, see a doctor immediately. West Nile virus can be treated, but if left alone, it can lead to much more serious ailments including Meningitis and Encephalitis.
Click here for more information on West Nile virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.