Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut reported its first cases of the West Nile Virus this year, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).
CAES announced that mosquitos trapped in Darien, Fairfield, New Haven, and Stamford on July 18 and 19 tested positive for the WNV. Mosquitos collected in Ledyard on July 27 also tested positive for the virus, followed by mosquitos trapped in Greenwich on August 2.
Greenwich’s Director of Health, Caroline Calderone Baisley, explained that the town of Greenwich is fighting the virus by a preemptive larviciding program with catch basins on properties owned by the town.
“Controlling the mosquito population in the larval stage through the application of larvicide has been found to be a prudent action; however, this measure only helps to reduce the mosquito population, not eliminate it,” Baisley said. “The recent warm weather and periodic rain events have increased the ability for mosquitos to breed.”
Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at CAES, also noted that the warm weather and humidity are to blame for the mosquito activity and WNV transmission, noting that CAES expects “further build-up of the virus from now through September.”
“We will continue to closely monitor mosquitos for continued virus amplification,” CAES Director Dr. Jason White said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to take precautionary measures, such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.”
CAES encourages residents to minimize time spent outdoors when mosquitos are most active, make sure doors and window screens are tight-fitting, and wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeve shirt when outside for a long period of time. Additionally, always use EPA-approved mosquito repellent and mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
In 2021, WNV was detected in 43 towns across all eight Connecticut counties. Six residents across the state developed WNV-associated illness, including one Greenwich resident, though no cases were fatal.
Learn more about the virus and positive findings at portal.ct.gov/caes.