The Norwalk Hour
West Nile virus found in four municipalities
The first mosquitoes to test positive for the West Nile virus this year have been found in Darien, Fairfield, New Haven and Stamford, officials announced Tuesday.
The mosquitoes were trapped on July 18 and 19, according to a news release from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
“The first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes of the season have been identified,” said Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES. “The current warm weather and high humidity provides ideal conditions for mosquito activity and West Nile virus transmission. We anticipate further build-up of the virus from now through September.”
Officials are reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites while outdoors.
“We encourage everyone to take precautionary measures, such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active,” said CAES Director Jason White.
People should use a mosquito repellent and wear shoes, socks, longsleeved shirts and pants while outdoors during that time or if they'll be outside for a long period of time, CAES said.
The agency also recommends people make sure door and window screens fit tight and don't have any openings for mosquitoes to get through. Mosquito netting should be used for infants outdoors or to protect anyone sleeping outdoors or in structures without screens.
Connecticut is no stranger to West Nile virus. It has been found in the state every year since it was first detected in North America in 1999, CAES said.
Last year, it was detected in 208 mosquito pools located in 43 towns spread out throughout all eight of the state's counties. There were also six confirmed human cases in Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven counties, according to the news release.
Mosquito-transmitted diseases are monitored and addressed by a number of agencies in the state. The CAES maintains a network of 108 mosquito-trapping stations in 88 municipalities throughout the state. CAES traps and tests mosquito from June to October and reports positive results to local health departments and on its website.
“We will continue to closely monitor mosquitoes for continued virus amplification,” White said.