NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - At least one city in the state is resuming dusk activities amid Eastern Equine Encephalitis concerns.
New Britain announced on Tuesday that a frost helped diminish the EEE-threat.
“The first frost over the weekend has definitely helped reduce the mosquito population around our area," said Mayor Erin Stewart of New Britain. "Which is why the director of health is advising me that city evening activities including school sports can schedule activities past 6 p.m."
The New Britain Consolidated School District will resume regularly scheduled evening activities, Stewart said.
While New Britain is resuming activities, down in Waterford officials said all evening activities will be concluding at 5:30 p.m. for the time being.
In the meantime, East Lyme became the 20th town in Connecticut with EEE-infected mosquitoes.
The first person in the state infected by the virus was Patricia Shaw, who lived in East Lyme.
Many towns continue to keep a curfew in place for outdoor activities. The timeframe of the curfews has been between dusk and dawn.
Some towns have sprayed schools and local parks.
However, experts said relief across the state will not come until temperatures drop to at least 28 degrees for a few consecutive hours. That's when the mosquitoes will die.
The low temperatures Friday night into Saturday possibly killed off mosquitoes in the Litchfield area.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said it will have a better idea when it collects data there later this week.
It said EEE-carrying mosquitoes generally have a flight range of 2.5 to 5.5 miles.
As of earlier this week, mosquitoes in the following towns tested positive for EEE: Bethany, Chester, East Lyme, Groton, Haddam, Hampton, Killingworth, Ledyard, Lyme, Madison, Middlefield, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Plainfield, Shelton, South Windsor, Stamford, Stonington, Voluntown, Waterford
Even if people do not live near one of the 20 towns identified, the CAES continued to urge them to be cautious. The state saw unusually high activity for the rare mosquito-borne virus this year.
"My heart breaks for the family members going through what they just dealt with," said Hollie Smith of Niantic.
Four people were in Connecticut were infected, according to health officials. Three of them died. They were in their 40s, 60s, and 70s.
EEE symptoms can range from a mild fever and headache to a coma. They also include fatigue, tremors and confusion.
Residents who live in towns or near towns where the EEE virus has been found in mosquitoes and/or where there has been a confirmed case of EEE involving a human, horse or bird are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including:
- Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair
- While outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven
- Use mosquito netting if sleeping outdoors
- Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use them according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is also effective for brief periods of exposure
- When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately 2 hours and 20% for 4 hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than 2 months
Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:
- Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire Swings, clogged gutters
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling
- Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use
- Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property
For more information on EEE, click here.