First WNV-Positive Mosquito Pool of Season identified in Waterford
The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Waterford on July 20, 2015 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. Connecticut residents are reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
“The first West Nile virus mosquitoes of the season have been identified,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES. “Early to mid-July is when we typically start to see an increase in infected mosquitoes, and this is a reminder for people to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites now through September.”
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
West Nile virus activity varies each year and is difficult to predict. In 2014, WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 15 municipalities; the first were trapped in East Haven on July 16. In addition, last year six Connecticut residents were identified with WNV infections from both Fairfield and New Haven counties.
Monitoring and risk assessment for WNV emphasizes mosquito trapping and testing results. The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday – Thursday nights at each site every ten days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Each pool is tested for the presence of viruses of public health importance. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website at www.ct.gov/caes.
For more information and resources please visit www.ct.gov/dph.