West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in 5 Connecticut towns

Health

The West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes in five Connecticut towns. 

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) announced Tuesday that they have identified West Nile Virus infected mosquitoes in Bridgeport, Easton, New Canaan, Stratford and Waterbury.

The State Mosquito Management Program is now urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases. 

“Mosquito-borne illness is a threat to take seriously, especially from now until well into
September. I ask everyone to prevent mosquito bites by eliminating standing water around your home,
making sure your door and window screens are in good repair, and covering bare skin and using
insect repellent when outside – especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active,” said Dr. Raul Pino, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The CAES says that the infected mosquitos were collected from June 18 to July 10th of this year. 

“The current indicators suggest a very active season for WNV. Mosquito populations are
building and will continue to do so, especially with the persistence of hot-muggy weather. The surrounding states are also reporting early WNV activity,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES.

There have been no human cases or horse cases reported with West Nile Virus associated illnesses in the state so far this season. However since 2000, 134 Connecticut residents have been diagnosed with the virus, including three fatalities. 

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, the CAES urges residents to:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
  • Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors. 

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