Mosquitoes trapped in Groton, Ledyard test positive for EEE

New London — Ledge Light Health District announced Tuesday that mosquitoes trapped in Groton and Ledyard have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, a rare but deadly disease found earlier this summer in mosquitoes trapped in North Stonington and Stonington.

Residents of the four towns should avoid outdoor activities from an hour before to an hour after dawn and dusk, the district advised.

Additional precautions that should be taken to avoid mosquito bites include:

• Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

• While outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.

• Use mosquito netting if sleeping outdoors.

• Consider using mosquito repellents when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use them according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus also is effective for brief periods of exposure.

• When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors — for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours — and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children or to infants less than 2 months old.

Measures that should be taken to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

• Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires and tire swings, and clogged gutters.

• Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.

• Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use.

• Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect.

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