Mosquitoes trapped in Keney Park in Hartford have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the mayor’s office.
City officials said the state notified them that the mosquitoes trapped on July 24 in the park tested positive for the virus, which can carry symptoms including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
There have been no reported cases of any people with West Nile virus in Hartford, city officials said.
Mosquitoes with West Nile virus have been found this year in: Bethany, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Franklin, Greenwich, Madison, New Canaan, New Haven, Stamford, Stratford, Waterbury Waterford, West Haven and Weston.
“Even though we see the West Nile virus in some form every year in Connecticut, I hope residents will take basic steps to prevent mosquito bites and report any potential West Nile virus infections to a health care professional,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement. “I want to thank the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for their work to detect West Nile virus in Hartford.”
The positive mosquitoes are Culex Pipiens, a predominantly bird-feeding species that has been identified with WNV in previous years, according to Hartford officials.
The City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following steps to avoid WNV or other mosquito-borne illnesses:
Preventing mosquito bites:
- Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Use mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
Preventing mosquitoes at home:
- Dispose of water-holding containers such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
- Clean clogged roof gutters.
- Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and wheelbarrows.
- Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.
- Use landscaping techniques to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.