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    Office Of The Mayor

    West Nile cases and prevention

    (8/28/2006) News

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – New Haven Health Department

    August 28, 2006 Contact: William P. Quinn

    (203) 946-6999

    NEW HAVEN, CT–The New Haven Health Department announced today that it has received notice from the State of Ct Department of Public Health that a second case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in the City of New Haven. This is the second confirmed case of WNV in the last two weeks.

    The second New Haven resident, a woman under the age of fifty, became ill on August 21 and was admitted to the hospital on August 23. She currently remains hospitalized and her condition is improving.

    Testing in New Haven and West Haven by the Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station since mid July has resulted in the identification of an increasing number of mosquito species and positive mosquito pools.

    In consultation with State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program, the New Haven Health Department is in the process of alerting area physicians and other health care providers to be vigilant for suspected cases. The New Haven Department of Public Works and Parks Department is continuing to larvicide catch basins and areas of standing water in parks and other public spaces.

    If New Haven continues to experience an increasing number of positive West Nile Virus mosquito pools and additional cases of West Nile virus, spraying for adult mosquitoes will be considered.

    Director of Health, William P. Quinn says that, “According to the CDC, approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or a skin rash. Infrequently, some people, (about 1 in 150) will develop a severe illness of the nervous system that can also include neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness, and paralysis”.

    “We urge all New Haven residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites during the mosquito season, August and September are the peak months for transmission of West Nile Virus to humans” said New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. "The Health Department recommends taking personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including the use of mosquito repellent, to allow New Haven residents to continue to play and work outdoors safely, especially with the upcoming holiday weekend. Older residents are most likely to get seriously ill from West Nile virus. People over the age of 50 – and especially those over the age of 65 – should guard against mosquito bites, and all residents should get rid of standing water and make sure window screens are installed tightly and are free of tears or holes." He said.

    Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:

    * Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn

    * Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair

    * Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be

    tightly woven

    * Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors

    * Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use

    them according to label instructions

    * The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin.

    * When using DEET use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for

    example, 6% lasts approximately 2 hours and 20% for 4 hours) and wash treated skin

    when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the

    hands of children, or to infants less than 2 months.

    Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

    * Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, tire swings

    * Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling

    * Clean clogged roof gutters

    * Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and


    * Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis

    * Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and when not in use, pool covers

    * Use landscaping techniques to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property

    Additional resources for information include:

    * The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Web site at http://www.caes.state.ct.us.

    * The Department of Environmental Protection Web site at http://www.dep.state.ct.us.

    * The Department of Agriculture Web site at http://www.state.ct.us/doag

    * The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.cdc.gov.

    To report dead birds or standing water, or for more information about West Nile virus, call 946-6999.

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