Mosquitoes along shoreline test positive for West Nile Virus - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Mosquitoes along shoreline test positive for West Nile Virus

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WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

The state has announced that mosquitoes trapped in West Haven last month have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The results were identified by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

“The West Nile virus season has begun,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES. “Late-June to mid-July is when we typically first detect WNV infection in mosquitoes and we anticipate further build-up of the virus from now through September."

Officials said these results provide a good reminder for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

"This is a reminder for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites." said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES.  "We encourage everyone to take simple measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."

Crews with the state Agricultural Experiment Station, who trap mosquitoes at 91 sites statewide, found some on Thill Street in West Haven June 29 that tested positive.

“It causes encephalitis, meningitis, and there have been some fatalities here in the state of Connecticut,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, director of the state’s mosquito monitoring program with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

He says virus generally emerges in late June through mid-July.

Armstrong says the elderly are at greatest risk for contracting the virus.

As for people on Thill Street, they know they live near an area that is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“We live next to the marshland so it's pretty prevalent down here or it will be,” said Kathy Hooke, of West Haven.

Armstrong recommends people dump any standing water near their homes, make sure doors, windows and screens fit tightly and are in good working order, and urges people to cover bare skin, especially if you're out when mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.

There are generally a few cases of West Nile Virus in the state each year.
No one has died from it since 2006, according to the experiment station.

There are no widespread sprayings to kill mosquitoes, but scientists are ramping up trapping of mosquitoes from once to twice a week.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes residents should:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes 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.

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