West Nile detected in North Stonington

North Stonington — Testing by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station found mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus in town during the week of Aug. 7.

North Stonington was one of twelve municipalities in the state that were found to have mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus. The others are: Branford, Glastonbury, Greenwich, North Branford, Orange, Plainfield, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, West Haven and Westport.

"We continue to see increases in the number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus with expansion into several new locations throughout the state," said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the experiment station. "This is the critical time of the year, when virus activity reaches its peak in the mosquito population."

"Historically, August and September are the months when the majority of human cases occur and represent the greatest risk for acquiring West Nile virus infection," said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the experiment station.  "Now is the time to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites."

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, residents should:

  • 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.

No human or horse cases have been reported with illnesses associated with the virus in Connecticut this season. There have been 131 human cases of West Nile virus-related illness, including three fatalities, diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000.

The experiment station maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the experiment station's website, bit.ly/ctmosquito.

For information on the West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website: www.ct.gov/mosquito.

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