Mosquitoes in East Haven have tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to the Department of Public Health.
It’s the first time infected mosquitoes have been discovered this year.
“Early to mid-July is when we typically start to see an increase in infected mosquitoes, and this is a reminder for people to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites from now through September,” said Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station medical entomologist Dr. Philip Armstrong, in a statement.
The DPH suggest the following tips to help prevent infection:
- Minimize your time outside between dawn and dusk.
- When you do go outside, use insect repellent and wear long, light-colored clothing made of tightly woven material.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outside or spending time in an unscreened area.
The East Shore District Health Department also suggests avoiding stagnant water and taking the following measures to prevent it from collecting on your property:
- Get rid of objects or containers that could collect water over time, such as ceramic pots and tire swings. Turn over plastic pools and wheelbarrows.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers to allow for drainage.
- Clean out clogged roof gutters.
- Change the water in bird baths every week.
- Make sure swimming pools are properly cleaned and chlorinated. Cover them when not in use.
West Nile is not the only mosquito-borne disease to watch out for. The chikungunya virus, originally found in the Caribbean, has infected 11 Connecticut residents who traveled abroad this year to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Saint Martin, according to the DPH.
Chikungunya cases have been reported in 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere, the DPH said. Three people have been infected domestically in Long Island.
Last year, mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in 22 cities and towns and four Connecticut residents were infected, according to the DPH.