An elderly woman from Stamford was hospitalized late last month and tested positive for West Nile virus.

The woman, whose identity is being withheld due to health privacy regulations, is the second human case of West Nile so far this season, according to state public health officials. The first case was reported last month when a Stratford man in his 60s came down with symptoms of joint and muscle pain and diarrhea. The man was not hospitalized and recovered.

The Stamford woman is in her 80s and was tested after coming down with a high fever on Aug. 22, said Anne Fountain, the city's director of public health. The woman was hospitalized on Aug. 25 and has since been released, Fountain said.

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Tips to avoid West Nile
• 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. 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.

Since June 27, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has identified West Nile-positive mosquitoes in 18 towns. The state is having a much lighter season for the illness than last year, when infected mosquitoes were found in 44 towns and there were 21 people afflicted with the disease, including five in Stamford.

Last year was the deadliest West Nile season on record, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released last week.

Nationwide, there were 5,674 human cases of West Nile reported, including 286 deaths.

Fountain urged residents to take precautions when outdoors in the evening and early-morning hours when mosquitoes are most active. She said the city applied larvicide in its nearly 14,000 catch basins to kill mosquito eggs in mid-July and is planning to do a second round early this month.