Hartford, CT - The State Mosquito Management Program announced Thursday that a Bridgeport resident and a New Haven resident have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. The residents, between 80-89 years of age, had onset of illness during the 4th week of August before the arrival of the tropical storm. Both residents were hospitalized with encephalitis. Illness in both cases was characterized by high fever, confusion, weakness, and vomiting. WNVpositive mosquitoes have been trapped repeatedly at numerous sites in Fairfield and New Haven counties this season.
“Mosquitoes are still active, and the recent rains have resulted in areas of standing water that provide them with ideal breeding grounds,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter. “We ask residents to continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites, such as eliminating standing water around the home.”
Last week, it was announced that a resident of Stamford had tested positive for WNV infection. Health officials said that August and September are when they usually see human cases of West Nile virus. While most people do not become severely ill from West Nile virus, people over the age of 50 are more likely to become ill and develop serious symptoms when infected.
The latest human surveillance statistics can be accessed at www.ct.gov/mosquito.
So far this season, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 30 municipalities: Branford, Bridgeport, Cromwell, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Litchfield, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Tolland, Trumbull, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, and Woodbridge.
Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:
• Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn
• Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair
• Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
• Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors
• Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use them according to label instructions
• The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin
• When using DEET use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately 2 hours and 20% for 4 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. Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:
• Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, tire swings
• Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling
• Clean clogged roof gutters
• Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and wheelbarrows
• Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools
• Use landscaping techniques to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.