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Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in West Haven

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Feeding mosquito with human blood

NEW HAVEN — The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program announced that mosquitoes trapped in West Haven on June 29 tested positive for West Nile Virus (NWH).

These results represent the first WNV positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.

Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES, said in a statement “The West Nile virus season has begun. Late-June to mid-July is when we typically first detect WNV infection in mosquitoes and we anticipate further build-up of the virus from now through September.”

“This is a reminder for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES.  “We encourage everyone to take simple measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

Do not be too alarmed though, this is a common occurrence.In 2016, CAES trapped and tested over 170,000 mosquitoes and identified WNV-positive mosquitoes collected at trap sites in 20 towns in 4 counties (Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven and New London) collected July 6 to September 28. Sources say that since 200, 131 human cases of West Nile Virus have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents including 3 deaths.

Connecticut residents are reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.

Here is a list of tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • 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 of time, or when mosquitoes are more active.  Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
  • Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
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