FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Beware of the mosquito bite: The West Nile virus has arrived in Fairfield County.
Mosquitoes trapped in Greenwich, Stratford and Westport as well as in South Windsor tested positive for the West Nile virus, state officials announced Tuesday. West Nile-infected mosquitoes were also trapped earlier this summer in West Haven.
The mosquitoes that tested positive were trapped last week at the following locations:
- Greenwich: Eastern Civic Center in Old Greenwich
- Stratford: Beacon Point
- Westport: North Avenue
The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program traps mosquitoes across the state for weekly testing for the West Nile virus. Symptoms include a slight fever, headache, rash, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, malaise and eye pain. But it can advance to a severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, severe muscle weakness, gastrointestinal symptoms, coma or death.
Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito are able to fight off infection and experience mild or no symptoms.
The following precautions should be taken when outdoors to avoid mosquito bites:
- Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use mosquito repellent. Always wash treated skin when returning indoors.
- Cover arms and legs of children playing outdoors.
- Cover playpens or carriages with mosquito netting.
- Don’t camp overnight near stagnant or standing water.
Residents should eliminate standing water, which is a breeding area for mosquitoes, by:
- Getting rid of any water holding containers (old tires, etc.).
- Raking out puddles and drain ditches, culverts, gutters, pool and boat covers.
- Covering trash containers.
- Chlorinating backyard pools and emptying wading pools when not in use.
- Changing the water in birdbaths daily.
- Keeping grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed.
West Nile virus has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999. Since 2000, there have been 131 human cases of West Nile in Connecticut, with three fatalities.
For more information about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website.
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