The Greenwich Department of Health was notified Thursday that an elderly Greenwich resident had tested positive for West Nile Virus.
"This case of human illness demonstrates that WNV can cause serious illness and whenever the virus is present there is a potential for human infection," said Caroline C. Baisley, director of health.
Infected mosquitoes were trapped and found from Aug. 12-18. The infected person is reported to be between 80 and 89 years old and recently became ill with a fever, headache and neurological symptoms. The person is currently hospitalized.
" There will continue to be infected mosquitoes until the first frost, so persons, particularly those older than 50, must take personal protection precautions to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors at any time of day, especially during twilight hours," said Baisley.
This is the third human case of WNV in the state this year. Town officials urge residents to eliminate stagnant water from their properties to reduce their risk of mosquitoes. Baisley said August and September are when the risk of exposure to the disease is highest.
"The finding of WNV positive mosquitoes helps to emphasize the fact that personal measures are extremely important to protect ourselves against mosquitoes during the day and night," said Michael Long, director of environmental services. The town suggests residents wear long sleeves and long pants when out at dusk and dawn and also use mosquito repellent that is 10% DEET for children and no more than 30% DEET for adults.
For more information on town procedures and ways to protect yourself, call the Department of Health at (203) 622-7838 or visit www.greenwichct.org.
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