STAMFORD, CT – Stamford Mayor David Martin, and the Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare Ted Jankowski continue to urge residents to be vigilant in removing standing water from their properties, to protect themselves from mosquito bites and use caution when traveling to areas where mosquito-borne illnesses are detected.
The City of Stamford Health Department Zika Task Force has been working diligently on mosquito control, education and prevention. They have also been working with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health who has taken steps to actively detect possible local transmission of Zika in Connecticut to protect Connecticut residents from the Zika virus.
“Everyone has a role in prevention and there is no immediate danger to residents,” said Mayor Martin. “But there are steps we can all continue to take to help control mosquitoes that can possibly spread diseases. We are asking residents to maintain their property and remove standing water as a preventative measure.”
As part of the City of Stamford’s action plan, the Stamford Department of Health will be providing the next round of larvicide treatments beginning August 29th through September 2nd. Larviciding is considered an effective strategy to reduce mosquito populations and related disease risk. The larvicide is placed in underground storm water catchment basins which are prime breeding areas of mosquitoes that carry mosquito-borne diseases.
Director Jankowski added, “The City of Stamford continues to be proactive in reducing mosquito populations through our larviciding program. Residents should also continue to be proactive in preventing mosquito bites and work to keep mosquitoes out of the home. We are asking residents to use precautions and assist in protecting the Stamford community from mosquitoes. The elimination of standing water where mosquitos breed is so important. If residents observe standing water that they cannot remove, they should notify Citizen Services or the Health Department for abatement.”
Since mosquitoes that spread current mosquito-borne illnesses do not fly very far and most often use small man-made containers to lay eggs, everyone can help in the control of mosquitoes near their homes and places of work. Residents should follow these steps to protect from mosquitos:
· DUMP AND DRAIN: Check property weekly and remove all sources of standing water. Residents should empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pool and boat covers, birdbaths, fountains, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers.
· Roof gutters should be kept clean.
· Mosquitoes lay eggs in warm, stagnant water and in containers as small as bottle caps. Report "green" inoperable pools or other sources of standing water to the Health Department or to Citizen Services at 203-977-4140.
· Do not store water in uncovered buckets or rain barrels. Ensure rain barrels are completely sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
· Empty bird baths and small fountains completely or clean them thoroughly every three days.
· Protect Yourself: Wear effective repellants and loose fitting clothing with long sleeves and long pants if outdoors where mosquitoes are present. Ensure doors and windows are properly screened.
· Use larvicides that can be purchased at hardware stores to treat large containers of water like ponds, that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
· Be neighborly and offer to help your neighbor if you notice potential breeding areas that are left unattended.
· Use repellant with DEET & always follow the directions.
State health officials are testing for West Nile and for mosquitoes that may also spread the Zika virus, which has been reported in Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Southern United States.
There currently is a Travel Advisory related to Zika from the State of Connecticut Commission of Public Health. Based on confirmation by the State of Florida and the CDC of several cases of locally transmitted Zika virus, the CDC is advising pregnant women, women who plan to become pregnant and their sexual partners to consider postponing travel to Miami-Dade County in Florida and, if travel must occur, to avoid Miami Beach and the Wynwood neighborhood in north Miami. Women who are or plan to become pregnant and their partners should take these travel warnings very seriously because the Zika virus causes only mild symptoms in most people, but can have devastating, life-long consequences for unborn children.
For mosquito prevention tips, visit the City of Stamford Department of Health's website at http://www.stamfordct.gov/environmental-health-inspections-division/pages/mosquito-and-vector-control.
Additional recommendations from the CDC can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/controlling-mosquitoes-at-home.html