West Nile Virus

Mosquito Trapped in Milford Tests Positive for West Nile Virus


The state has found the first mosquito to test positive for West Nile virus this summer in Milford.

This is something that happens every year, but experts say this is a little earlier than usual.

Every year the Connecticut mosquito surveillance program begins trapping the insects around June 1, and typically mosquitoes infected with the virus aren’t discovered until early July. This one was trapped on June 21.

The director of the state mosquito surveillance program says it’s hard to tell what this may mean for the risk of the virus this summer and that it really depends on weather conditions.

“ If we continue to have these heatwaves like we're experiencing today, that hot weather, that will really drive the transmission of the virus. It will allow the mosquitoes that transmit the virus to really proliferate,” Philip Armstrong, Connecticut’s mosquito surveillance program director, said.

Experts say it’s a good idea to wear bug spray, cover up and limit the time you spend outside when mosquitoes are most active – dawn and dusk. You can also take steps to reduce mosquito-friendly areas on your property

“Eliminating any standing water that you see on your property will go a long way to reducing the number of mosquitoes and also just making sure that your screen windows and doors are also in good repair to keep the mosquitoes out of your house,” Armstrong said.

Officials said West Nile virus is the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the United States and has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999. Health experts say four out of five people infected won’t develop symptoms. Those who do will typically experience headaches and fever, though in rare cases some people will develop a more severe, sometimes fatal illness.

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