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Mosquitoes From New Haven Test Positive For West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been detected in five areas of the state.
Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been detected in five areas of the state. Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Alvesgaspar

It's time to get out the mosquito repellant with the discovery of the pesky insects carrying the West Nile virus in five areas in Connecticut, including three in Fairfield County.

According to the Connecticut Department of Health, the virus-carrying mosquitoes were discovered last week in Fairfield County in Greenwich, Darien, and Stamford, in New Haven County in New Haven, and in Waterford in New London County.

So far, no cases of the disease have been diagnosed in any Connecticut residents, said Dr. Philip M. Armstrong, virologist/medical entomologist with the state. 

The DPH offered some tips to keep families safe from the West Nile virus:

  • To reduce the chance of being bitten when outside, wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants, and headcover. 
  • Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing is preferable because dark clothing radiates more heat and attracts more mosquitoes. 
  • Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can be used by most people and are often effective for varying lengths of time.

Armstrong said permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid that is widely available for repelling and killing ticks, also repels and kills mosquitoes. 

It is applied to clothing and provides longer-lasting protection. Note: Do not apply permethrin products directly to the skin, officials said. 

Although not marketed as repellents, there are several cosmetic liquids and creams that claim some level of mosquito repellency. 

These products may effectively repel when mosquito pressure is light, but need to be reapplied frequently, he added. 

Minimizing the time spent outside at dusk and dawn will also reduce the potential exposure to mosquito bites.

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