Connecticut reported 18 cases of West Nile Virus infections this year, doubling the number of cases reported last year. In 2011 there were nine cases of West Nile virus reported in the state.
Though no one in Connecticut this year died from the mosquito-born disease, which causes serious illness, the number of cases so far in 2012 also marks the most ever recorded in the state.
According to State of Connecticut statistics, Greenwich and Stamford were the hardest hit with, six human WNV cases in total — 4 in Stamford and 2 in Greenwich. Both towns reported mosquitoes positive for West Nile Virus early in the season, which according to Greenwich Director of Health Caroline Calderone Baisley was a sure sign that human cases would most likely be reported.
Baisley has announced she has lifted the mandatory restrictions for managing hours of outdoor operation for activities that involve the public which she imposed in mid-September. Baisley said as the risk of West Nile increased, "No one seemed to have a problem with complying with this mandate.”
“Lifting the restrictions is appropriate now that the season is winding down; however, this does not mean that you cannot get bitten by a mosquito. It just means that human risk of contracting the virus is very low,” Baisley said in a statement. "All residents are still being encouraged to protect themselves from biting mosquitoes and to rid their property of standing water."
State officials believe the increase in the number of West Nile surged in 2012 because of the warmer than normal winter in Connecticut, followed by a record-breaking heat wave this summer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of Oct. 9 there were a total of 4,249 human cases of West Nile virus across the country, the highest number of West Nile cases reported to CDC through the second week in October since 2003. Almost 70 percent of the cases were reported from eight states - Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma and Illinois. Over one-third of those cases were in Texas.
In Connecticut officials with the state’s Mosquito Management Program track the spread of West Nile infection in mosquitoes.