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Cases of a mosquito born virus appears in multiple CT towns

NEW HAVEN -- Mosquito season in Connecticut has arrived.

“One day they are fine. The next day they are horrendous,” said Glenn Martin.

Martin isn’t taking any chances on the trails. He is using a blend of natural bug sprays to remain protected from mosquito born illnesses.
“I can’t take that chance of mosquitoes carrying disease or ticks carrying disease,” said Martin.

The Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station in New Haven has 14 confirmed positive tests of the Jamestown Canyon Virus in cities across the state.

Positive tests occurred in Westport, Fairfield, Shelton, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Southington, South Windsor, Canaan and North Stonington.

The Jamestown Canyon Virus is rare amongst humans. The state of Connecticut has only two documented cases of the virus since 2000. Scientists believe the virus goes un-diagnosed in part due to symptoms being similar to the common cold.

Even though the virus may not pose much of a threat to humans, it is a sign of what is to come.

“Typically this virus occurs earlier in the summer,” Dr. Philip Armstrong of the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station. “Earlier than other mosquito born viruses like West Nile Virus.”

Cases of West Nile Virus are popping up in New York and New Jersey. Dr. Armstrong says it’s only a matter of time before cases appear in Connecticut.

Stagnant water is perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It could be a marsh or a bird feeder in a yard, it doesn’t take much for mosquitoes to breed.

“We have still water all around us right here and this is a tough spot,” said Martin. “It’s a beautiful hike but there is swampy marshy stagnant water.”

“I last minute sprayed myself before we went on our walk today. I’m really glad we did judging by how many bugs are out right now,” said Tori Adamczyk

Scientists say mosquito season started late this year due to a damp spring. Now they advise taking basic precautions to prevent bites.

“That includes things like covering up. If your outdoors were mosquitoes are biting considered wearing mosquito repellent. Make sure your screen doors are in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of the house,” said Dr. Armstrong.

“It’s time to get out, have fun but protect yourself,” said Martin.

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