West Nile Virus Detected in Mosquitoes in Stamford

Mosquitoes trapped in Stamford on July 22 have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Stamford health department.

These are the first mosquitoes the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has found with the virus in Stamford this season.

“The State has identified mosquitoes with West Nile Virus throughout Connecticut and individuals should take precautions,” Anne Fountain, director of Health and Social Services for the City of Stamford, said in a statement.

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.

Persons older than 50 years old are more likely than younger persons 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% 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
  • wheelbarrows.
  • 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:

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