Mosquitoes in 32 towns test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus have been identified in 32 towns so far this season, the state Mosquito Management Program announced today.

Among the 32 towns are three in southeastern Connecticut: Groton, Westbrook and Chester.

The virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes trapped in Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties. The mosquitoes were trapped by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station from June 27 to Aug. 1.

“West Nile virus is rapidly expanding throughout the state as a result of warm temperatures, high humidity, and frequent rainfall that have created ideal conditions for amplification of the virus in local mosquito populations,” Theodore Andreadis, chief medical entomologist at the experiment station, said in a news release. “Virus levels will continue to increase during the next several weeks creating an elevated risk for human infection.”

Randall Nelson, state public health veterinarian with the state Department of Public Health, noted that August and early September is the time of the year when people are at greatest risk of illness associated with West Nile virus infections.

“Everyone should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly people over 50 since they are most likely to develop serious illness,” he said.

For information about the virus and preventing mosquito bites, visit www.ct.gov/mosquito.

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