Experts address Zika virus concerns in Connecticut - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Experts address Zika virus concerns in Connecticut

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In Connecticut, weekly trapping and testing starts in June and runs through October. (CDC) In Connecticut, weekly trapping and testing starts in June and runs through October. (CDC)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

The warm weather is coming, along with plenty of mosquitoes, and with the second confirmed case of the Zika virus in Connecticut, concerns are growing about the virus spreading in our state.

Right now, Zika is considered a travelers virus, meaning you have to go to an impacted region, like the Caribbean, or south, central, or Latin America, to find it.

In Connecticut, weekly trapping and testing starts in June and runs through October.

"We can screen mosquitoes for a diversity of different viruses and if Zika were introduced here into the U.S., we'd be in a position to pick it up,” said Philip Armstrong, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

For both cases of Zika in Connecticut, the victim had recently returned from a trip to an impacted country.

"There is some concern that during the summer time, it could be introduced in the U.S. and be transmitted by our mosquitoes,” Armstrong said.

He said if Zika reaches the U.S., chances are it would first surface in mosquitoes in places like Florida or Texas.

While Zika is getting a lot of headlines, he said it is more likely Connecticut will have to deal with West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which are viruses already in the state.

Edward Manning was fishing at the Beaver Pond Park on Monday and said he will be prepared to protect himself from mosquito bites.

"Long sleeve shirt, long pants, I don't want them to bite my legs, keep all covered up, you'll be alright,” Manning said.

Armstrong said in addition to long sleeves and bug spray, people should make sure they get rid of standing water near their homes, like birdbaths, pots and buckets.

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