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Scientists tracking West Nile virus in 14 Connecticut towns


CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — Fourteen Connecticut towns now have mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

So far, there has been one human case of the virus this year in the Newington, Wethersfield area.

The mosquito-borne illness has been found in communities in lower Fairfield County, lower New Haven County and in the Hartford Metropolitan area.

According to scientist Philip Armstrong, August and September have proven to be the riskiest months for the virus.

Scientists are now advising people to minimize the time they spend outside at dawn and dusk. They also recommend wearing long pants, long sleeves and investing in an EPA approved mosquito repellent.

Armstrong said escaping to the great outdoors is a double-edged sword.

“I think going outside is good for your mental health, and I think people are cooped up, and also, there’s the risk of greater exposure to COVID in closed environments,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you can’t go outside, it just means you want to take those precautionary measures.”

In 2019, the state also saw EEE virus, another mosquito-borne disease. The state reported four human cases and three people died from it.

In 2020, they have detected EEE in two towns in Eastern Connecticut along the Rhode Island border.

So far, scientists said there seems to be very little risk.

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