SOUTHINGTON — A second local resident has tested positive for West Nile virus about a month after the first case was diagnosed, according to the state Department of Public Health.
The resident is one of four in the state that recently tested positive for the virus this month. One of the patients is from Durham, and the remaining two patients are from Bridgeport.
The four patients are between 50 and 70 years old, and three of them were hospitalized. The Southington patient became sick in mid-September, and the Durham patient fell ill in August.
A Southington resident also tested positive for the virus late last month. The resident, who officials said was between 70 and 79 years old, was hospitalized in early August with encephalitis. The person did not travel out of the area before becoming sick.
Ten people have tested positive for the virus statewide so far this summer. Between 2013-17, less than 10 annual West Nile cases were diagnosed all but once, according to the Center for Disease Control.
“Severe illness can occur in people of any age, but children and people over 60 are at greater risk,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said. “The WNV season doesn’t end until the first hard frost of fall.”
The department urges residents to use insect repellent, cover bare skin and avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Other tips include emptying or turning over containers, including pots, used tires, tire swings, and wading pools, to prevent standing water; drilling holes in containers; cleaning clogged gutters; cleaning and chlorinating pools; and changing water in bird baths weekly. Mosquitoes require water for reproduction.
Symptoms of the virus are similar to a mild, flu-like illness.