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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

West Nile Virus Hospitalizes Greenwich Resident

GREENWICH, Conn. — A Greenwich resident in his or her 70s has been hospitalized with West Nile virus, officials reported Monday.

The unidentified resident, who is between the ages of 70 and 79, became ill in mid-August with "fever, headache and some neurological symptoms," the Greenwich Department of Health said.

It is the fifth human case in Connecticut this year.

"There will continue to be infected mosquitoes until the first frost, so persons, particularly those older than 50 years of age, must take personal protection precautions to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors at any time of day, especially during twilight hours,” said Caroline C. Baisley, Greenwich's health director.

The town has been applying larvicide every four to six weeks to kill mosquitos throughout Greenwich. The town has been targeting storm drains and other areas of standing water.

"Although this measure helps reduce the mosquito population, it certainly does not eliminate it. Residents are therefore encouraged to protect themselves," Baisley said.

The highest risk of exposure is in August and September, said Michael S. Long, Greenwich's director of environmental services.

Symptoms of West Nile virus occur suddenly between five and 15 days after a person is bitten. Symptoms include: fever, headache, rash, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, malaise and eye pain, rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, severe muscle weakness, gastrointestinal symptoms, coma or death.

People over age 50 are more susceptible to serious infection.

The Greenwich Department of Health provides the following precautions:

  • Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use mosquito repellent.
  • Cover arms and legs of children playing outdoors.
  • Don’t camp overnight near stagnant or standing water.
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes cannot hide.

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