The season's first West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes have been found in Fairfield County in a batch of mosquitoes trapped June 19.
According to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the mosquitoes were trapped in New Canaan.
“The first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes of the season have been identified,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, the medical entomologist at the experiment station. “This is one of the earlier detections of virus recorded during the last 20 years of the statewide monitoring program.”
While warning Fairfield County residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites, Dr. Theodore Andreadis, experiment station director, said the mosquito amounts will likely increase due to the recent rainfall amounts, and a forecast calling for a run of warm weather, both which can increase mosquito activity in the area.
"We encourage everybody to take simple measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active," he said.
West Nile virus has been detected in the state every year since 1999. Last year, the CAES trapped and tested nearly 200,000 mosquitoes and identified WNV-positive mosquitoes at trap sites in 30 towns in six counties (Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham).
Three Connecticut residents were diagnosed and hospitalized due to infection. Since 2000, 134 human cases of West Nile have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents, including three fatalities.
The department recommends wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside during peak periods for long periods of time. They also suggest residents consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors during those times.
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