West Nile on the rise
Although no mosquitoes trapped in Wilton so far this year have tested positive for West Nile virus, evidence of the disease is on the rise in Connecticut according to the State Mosquito Management Program.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station trapped positive mosquitoes late last month in Darien, Guilford, New haven, Stamford, West Haven and Waterford.
Dr. Philip Armstrong, a medical entomologist at the station, said more positive mosquitoes are expected to be found throughout the rest of the summer and early fall, thus increasing the risk to humans. August and September are the months when the risk of infection is greatest in Connecticut.
So far this year, there have been no reported West Nile virus-associated illnesses in humans or horses. During 2014, six Connecticut residents developed West Nile virus-associated illnesses, none were fatal. Since 2000, 120 human cases of such illnesses, including three fatalities, have been confirmed in the state.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities. There are two in Wilton. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and online at http://www.ct.gov/caes/mosquitotesting.
In 2013, Wilton was one of 21 Connecticut towns where mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito, consider:
- Minimizing time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Ensuring door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Using mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Using mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.