FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station announced Wednesday that the Fairfield County towns of Greenwich, Stamford, Stratford and Westport were among 12 towns in the state where mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The other towns where West Nile virus has been found so far this season are Branford, Glastonbury, North Branford, North Stonington, Orange, Plainfield, South Windsor, and West Haven.
"We continue to see increases in the number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus with expansion into several new locations throughout the state," said Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES. "This is the critical time of the year when virus activity reaches its peak in the mosquito population."
So far no human or horse cases have been reported with WNV-associated illnesses acquired in Connecticut this season. Since 2000, 131 human cases of WNV illness, including three fatalities, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents.
"Historically, August and September are the months when the majority of human cases occur and represent the greatest risk for acquiring West Nile virus infection," said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of CAES. "Now is the time to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites."
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitos, the CAES recommends that residents:
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitos 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 of time, or when mosquitoes are more 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.
The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday through Thursday nights at each site every 10 days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website here.
For information on West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website.
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