FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in eight towns in Fairfield County the State Mosquito Management Program announced Tuesday.
“Everyone should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly people over 50 since they are most likely to develop serious illness,” said Dr. Randall Nelson, state public health veterinarian with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Danbury, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport and Wilton have all had mosquitoes that tested positive for the disease so far this season. August and early September are when people are most at risk to contract the mosquito-borne disease, Nelson said.
“West Nile virus is rapidly expanding throughout the state as a result of warm temperatures, high humidity and frequent rainfall that have created ideal conditions for amplification of the virus in local mosquito populations,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, chief medical entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “Virus levels will continue to increase during the next several weeks, creating an elevated risk for human infection.”
Including the eight towns in Fairfield County, a total of 32 Connecticut towns and cities have had mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus.
Monitoring and risk assessment for West Nile virus emphasizes mosquito trapping and testing results. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday through Thursday nights at each site every 10 days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped 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 website at www.ct.gov/caes.
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at www.ct.gov/mosquito.