Mosquitoes in seven Connecticut communities have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The site for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station previously listed that mosquitoes in Stamford, Guilford and New Haven tested positive for the virus, but mosquitoes in Waterford, West Haven and Darien have also tested positive, officials from the Agricultural Experiment Station said.
A statement from Stamford officials says the mosquitoes there were trapped at Cove Island Park on July 28.
The mosquitoes found with West Nile in Guilford were trapped on Moose Hill Road on July 23, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, and the mosquitoes in New Haven were trapped on July 28 in Beaver Pond Park.
“It is important that residents take precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Simple measures including wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, head coverings and socks will minimize exposure to mosquitoes, which may carry the virus,” Anne Fountain, director of Health and Social Services for the City of Stamford, said in a statement. “The use of insect repellant is also helpful. In addition, we urge people to seek out and empty standing water in and around their homes. We will begin to larvicide all catch basins throughout the city next week with an additional treatment in September.”
To monitor West Nile virus, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has trapping stations in several cities and towns throughout the state o from June through October.
The traps are set every 10 days at each site on a rotating basis.
This is peak season and residents should be careful, according to the Agricultural Experiment Station. They advise you can have a bird bath, but you should chance the water once per week.
Most people who are infected with West Nile virus and become ill will have a mild illness that might include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or a skin rash.
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.
Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:
- Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be
- tightly woven.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
- Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors. Always use
- according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin.
- When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors
(for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old.
Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:
- 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
- Change water in birdbaths on a weekly basis.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and when not in use, use pool covers and drain
- when necessary.
- Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.
Additional resources for information on West Nile virus and mosquito management:
The Department of Public Health website
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Web site
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website