FILE - In a Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 file photo, dead mosquitos are lined up waiting to be sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas. Federal health officials said Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 that West Nile virus cases are up 40 percent since last week and may rival the record years of 2002 and 2003. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
West Nile virus has been detected in a second location in Greenwich and health officials are taking precautions, including restrictions on outdoor hours for public and private facilities in parts of town.
All facilities, public and private, in the Old Greenwich/Riverside area and the greater North Mianus area of Greenwich are being asked to cooperate with a mandatory restriction of managing hours of outdoor operation for activities that involve the public.
All parks, playgrounds, golf courses and other areas that support public gatherings and public recreation activities should manage their hours of outdoor operation to include closing half an hour before dusk and re-open no earlier than ½ hour after sunrise.
All food service establishments that offer outside dining should discontinue service half-an- hour before dusk unless the area is screened appropriately to prevent mosquito exposure to patrons.
“These restrictions will only be temporary as the environmental conditions within the community will change,” Caroline Baisley, director of health, said. “As the mosquito population declines, so will the WNV infection activity. As a result, the rate of human exposure to the virus will lessen.”
In addition to the public health intervention, all Greenwich residents are asked to discontinue camping outdoors, especially in the Old Greenwich/Riverside Areas and greater North Mianus area, to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants, use mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s directions, avoid application of repellents with DEET on infants and small children, cover arms and legs of children playing outdoors, cover playpens or carriages with mosquito netting and get rid of any water holding containers.
Mosquitoes infected with the virus do not become completely non-threatening until the first frost.
The mosquito pool was collected on Sept. 5 at a station located in Mianus River Park off of Cognewaugh Road, according to Greenwich department of health, and there are still positive tests positive from the collection site in the Old Greenwich/Riverside area.
According to the state Department of Health, there have been 14 cases of West Nile virus infection in the state in 2012.
“This positive pool of mosquitoes demonstrates that WNV continues to present a serious risk to human health when it becomes intensified in the community. These results show that the virus is still spreading in mosquito pools. Therefore, all residents in these areas must apply personal protection to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors, especially before dawn and dusk!” Baisley said.