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Stratford Health Officials Issue Mosquito Warning After West Nile Returns

The West Nile virus is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes.
The West Nile virus is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. Photo Credit: File

STRATFORD, Conn. — After mosquitoes trapped at Beacon Point in Stratford tested positive for West Nile virus last month, residents are being reminded to take precautions.

Here are some tips from the Stratford Health Department: 

  • Tip over items in your recycling bin that can collect water. 
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, even those that are not being used, including pool covers. 
  • Clear clogged gutters. 
  • Drill holes in bottom of recycling containers. 
  • For commercial properties with flat roofs, check for standing water to reduce mosquito-breeding sites. 
  • Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active to avoid bites. 
  • Be sure door and windows screens are tight fighting and in good repair to keep out mosquitoes. 
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made 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 using DEET-containing mosquito repellent, as directed, when outdoors.

Mosquitoes trapped at Beacon Point in Stratford on July 19 tested positive for West Nile virus, which can be transmitted to humans. 

Related story:West  Nile-Infected Mosquitoes Trapped In Greenwich, Stratford, Westport

Infected mosquitoes have also been trapped in Greenwich, Westport, South Windsor and West Haven.

The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program traps mosquitoes across the state for weekly testing for the West Nile virus. 

Symptoms of the virus 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.

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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