Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been confirmed in a Connecticut park, officials announced.
The City of Hartford reported this week that two mosquitoes trapped at Keney Park on Tuesday, Sept. 14 tested positive for the virus.
According to city officials, no additional Hartford residents were infected by the virus after the discovery.
“Until we get the first frost, we should all take basic steps to prevent mosquito bites,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement.
“Please report any potential West Nile virus infection to a healthcare professional. I want to thank the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for their work to detect West Nile virus in Hartford.”
West Nile virus has been detected in Connecticut annually for more than two decades.
According to officials, “most people infected with West Nile virus will experience mild or no symptoms, but some can develop severe symptoms including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis.”
“The symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent,” officials noted. “Individuals, especially those 50 years of age or older, or those with compromised immune systems, who are most at risk, are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”
Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, according to health officials.
The infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals. In humans, West Nile Virus may cause a mild illness but may also cause encephalitis - inflammation of the brain - or meningitis - inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.
Health officials said that to avoid mosquito bites, one should:
- Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn;
- Wear shoes and socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts when mosquitoes are active;
- Use mosquito repellent, following label directions carefully;
- Make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair;
- Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, discarded tires, buckets, pool covers, birdbaths, trash cans, and rain barrels.
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