West Nile virus found in central Connecticut town
Mosquitoes trapped in Wethersfield tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), state officials announced Wednesday. This is the first round of WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in the state this testing season.
WNV was detected in 24 towns in six counties in Connecticut last season, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) reported. CAES found detections were most prevalent in densely populated urban and suburban areas.
Last August and September, CAES officials said seven cases of WNV-associated illness were reported in humans in Connecticut.
Most people who contract WNV from an infected mosquito are asymptomatic, or experience mild illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About one in 150 infected people can develop a serious illness including encephalitis (brain inflammation) or meningitis (inflammation of brain and spinal cord membranes).
But federal and state officials urge vigilance against WNV regardless of the risk of becoming sick.
"This serves as a reminder for people to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites," said CAES director Jason White. “We encourage everyone to take precautionary measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."
To avoid getting a bite, officials recommend minimizing time spent outdoors when mosquitoes are most active in the evening and night time, repairing door and window screens, and wearing clothing that covers exposed skin when outdoors for long periods of time.
For information on WNV prevention, test results and human infection data, visit https://portal.ct.gov/mosquito.