FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — The mosquito buzz this summer seemed to be all about the Zika virus, but a threat much closer to home in Fairfield County is the West Nile virus.
And once again, more and more mosquitoes have been trapped in the area that are carrying the West Nile virus, which can cause a flulike illness and even death in humans.
According to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, infected mosquitoes have been captured in the following Fairfield County locations:
- Bridgeport: Beardsley Zoo, positive mosquito captured on Aug. 8. Three positive mosquitoes captured to date at this location.
- Bridgeport: Central High School, one positive mosquito captured Aug. 8
- Darien: Brush Island Road, one positive mosquito captured Aug. 10
- Stamford: Cove Island Park, Aug.4 (three infected mosquitoes captured); Aug. 8 (one captured) and Aug. 9 (one captured). A total of 15 mosquitoes captured to date at this location.
- Stamford: Sleepy Hollow Park, one positive mosquito captured Aug. 8 Two positive mosquitoes captured to date at this location.
- Stamford: Intervale Road: Aug. 4 (two infected mosquitoes captured), Aug. 8 (three captured), Aug. 9 (two captured) A total of 11 positive mosquitoes captured to date at this location.
- Stratford: Beacon Point, one positive mosquito captured Aug. 4
West Nile-infected mosquitoes have also been found at Keney Park in Hartford, Churchill Park in Newington and Spicebush Swamp in West Hartford.
In addition, one mosquito captured in the Great Swamp in Ridgefield has tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus. It can cause mild flu-like symptoms in humans.
The first West Nile-infected mosquitoes this year were captured July 6 in Stamford, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Residents are urged to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and using insect repellant.
Mosquito-breeding can be curbed by seeking out and emptying standing water in and around your home in pots, planters, wading pools and gutters.
Most people who are infected with the West Nile virus and become sick will have a mild illness that may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or a skin rash. Less frequently, people develop severe illness of the nervous system that can also include neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Although rare, it can be fatal.
Persons older than 50 years of age are more likely than younger persons to suffer more severe health consequences if they become infected with the virus.
West Nile virus has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999. During 2015, West Nile Virus was detected in mosquitoes collected at trap sites in 24 towns, including Bridgeport, Darien, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, and Stratford.
In addition, 10 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus were reported: six in Bridgeport, and one each in Fairfield, Milford, New Haven, and Shelton.
Click here to read the full mosquito report from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
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