Mosquitoes in 15 Connecticut communities have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the state Department of Public Health.
The virus has been identified in Bridgeport, Chester, Darien, East Haven, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Guilford, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Waterford, West Haven and Wethersfield.
No human cases of West Nile have been reported so far this year.
State health officials are urging residents to take precautions in an effort to avoid contracting the virus. According to the Department of Public Health, Connecticut residents are most likely to become infected in August and September.
"Mosquito-borne illness is a threat to take seriously, especially from now well into September," Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen said in a statement Friday. "I ask everyone to prevent mosquito bites by eliminating standing water around your home, making sure your door and window screens are in good repair, and covering bare skin and using insect repellent when outside – especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."
Most people who are infected with West Nile virus develop a mild illness that may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or a skin rash, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
Less frequently, people develop severe illness of the nervous system that can also include neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness and paralysis.
People older than 50 years of age are more likely than younger people to suffer the more severe health consequences if they become infected.
West Nile virus was also identified in 15 Connecticut municipalities last year, according to the Department of Public Health. Six people contracted the illness, five of whom were hospitalized.
Learn more about West Nile virus and mosquito management: