Connecticut mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

The Connecticut State Mosquito Management Program announced on July 12 that mosquitoes that were trapped in Norwalk on July 2 have tested positive for West Nile virus.

This is the first case of mosquitoes tested by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station that resulted in positive findings this year. Authorities are warning the public to take preventative measures against being bit by mosquitoes who carry WNV.

"The West Nile virus season has started," Chief Medical Entomologist at the CAES Theodore Andredis said. "Early- to mid-July is when we typically start to see an increase in infected mosquitoes and is a reminder for people to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites now through September."

In order to minimize the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, authorities are recommending people minimize time spent outdoors during dusk and dawn, as this is when mosquitoes are most active. Authorities also recommend door and window screens be sealed well.

If people must go outside, it is recommended that they wear tightly woven long-sleeve tops, long socks, full-length pants and shoes to stay safe. Authorities also recommend using mosquito repellant when outdoors and if sleeping outside in tents is unavoidable, bed nets are suggested, particularly for babies.

CAES said it is difficult to project the severity and prevalence of WNV each year. The best preventative measure is to reduce the risk of getting bit by a mosquito in general.