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West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in East Haven

EAST HAVEN -- The East Shore District Health Department confirm two mosquitoes recently collected in East Haven have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

According to the department, the mosquitoes have been identified as the first WNV positive mosquitoes in the state this year.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station collected them from a  mosquito surveillance trap located in the vicinity of the corner of Kenneth Street and Burgess Street.

"We typically first detect West Nile virus in mosquitoes from late-June to mid-July so this year's detection is later than usual," Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES explained. "Nevertheless, virus activity can escalate very quickly and we anticipate further build-up of the virus from now through September."

Officials say the species of mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus can be found in old tires, stagnant pools of ground water, artificial containers and even catch basins.

According to the East Shore District Health Department, West Nile Virus has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999.

In 2018, CAES detected over 300 positive mosquito samples collected from 53 municipalities, which are higher than normal levels.

According to the Health Department, the majority of WNV activity was detected in densely populated urban and suburban regions in Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven counties, consistent with prior years.

Twenty-three human cases, with one fatality, were reported last year.

Officials share the following measures for residents to protect themselves:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long sleeved shirt when and where mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping and to protect small babies when outdoors.
  • Consider the use of mosquito repellent containing DEET when it is necessary to be outdoors.

East Shore District Health is also advising that people continue eliminating stagnant water in and around their properties.

For information on Wets Nile Virus, other mosquito-borne diseases and what you can do to prevent getting bit, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program web site.

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