Mosquitoes in Waterford test positive for West Nile virus

Waterford — Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus have been found in Waterford, prompting Ledge Light Health District to urge residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.

The mosquitoes that tested positive were trapped on Aug. 31, Ledge Light said in a news release Wednesday.

The mosquitoes were found in a trap in a wooded area near the Waterford-New London line, just off Evergreen Avenue in New London, said Stephen Mansfield, director of health for Ledge Light.

He said mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus were found in the same location last year.

“This is prime time for mosquito bites, until the first hard frost,” he said. “The point is to encourage residents to use precautions.”

Thus far this year, there has been one human case of West Nile virus in the state, a resident of Milford who became ill in late August and was hospitalized.

Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have been found in six other communities around the state in 2016 other than Waterford, which is the only town in southeastern Connecticut thus far.

To minimize the risk, residents are urged to reduce the time they spend outdoors at dusk and dawn, make sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair, and wear socks, shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.

Use of mosquito repellent containing DEET or Picaridin is recommended, and oil of lemon eucalyptus is also effective for short periods, Ledge Light said.

Residents also should empty outdoor containers of water, clean clogged gutters, upend objects that may collect water, change water in bird baths weekly, clean, chlorinate and cover swimming pools and use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect.

Ledge Light is offering larvacidal briquettes to treat standing water on private property. The larvacide prevents mosquitoes from developing into adults.

Residents of the five towns in the district — East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London and Waterford — can request treatment by calling Charlene Swink at (860) 448-4882, ext. 395. A district sanitarian will visit the property and apply the larvacide. The treatment will last about 30 days.

For information about the virus and preventing mosquito bites, visit http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/site/default.asp.

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