MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program (MMP) announced Tuesday that the first pool of mosquitoes trapped on June 21 has tested positive for West Nile Virus.
This is the first reported case of West Nile Virus found this year, according to state researchers.
“This is earlier than usual, and we anticipate further build-up of the virus from now through September,” explained Dr. Phillip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).
Last season, the West Nile Virus was detected in 13 mosquito pools from 21 Connecticut towns.
“The levels of risk really vary quite a bit from year to year,” said Dr. Armstrong. “Last year we had, I think, eight human cases and a number of detections in mosquitoes. So, what happens this year will really kind of depend on what the weather’s like going forward…We expect it to continue to spread over the next few weeks and months, and we’re gonna be monitoring it through our program where we’re trapping and testing mosquitoes.”
CAES officials will continue to monitor this situation for any virus expansion. To reduce the risk of being bitten, make sure to:
- Minimize time spent outdoors during dusk and dawn
- Repair any window or door screens
- Wear long-sleeved, light colored clothing when outside for long periods of time
- Use mosquito netting if sleeping outdoors
- Consider the use of EPA-approved mosquito repellent when necessary
- To learn more, visit the State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website.
“The take-home message is you want to be aware of the risk…The best line of defense is just taking those simple measures to reduce your exposure to mosquito bites,” Dr. Armstrong said.