Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus in 9 CT Towns: CCHD Urges Residents to Protect Against Mosquito Bites

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The Central Connecticut Health District (CCHD) has received notification that the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has identified West Nile Virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes in nine towns: Chester, East Haven, Greenwich, Groton, New Haven, North Haven, North Stonington, South Windsor, and Wethersfield. CCHD urges all CT residents to take precautions to protect themselves against vector-borne disease transmission by preventing mosquito bites.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 1 in 5 (20%) WNV infected persons develop fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and rash on chest, stomach & back. About 1 in 150 develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness including symptoms such as high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

CCHD encourages residents to protect yourself, your family, and your friends from mosquito-borne illness by following these simple steps:

Mosquitoes require a blood meal for reproduction!

• Be careful at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors; don’t forget to cover the arms and legs of children. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.

• Cover babies’ playpens and carriages with mosquito netting when outdoors.

• Install protective nets and screens

• Use an effective insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), 2-undecanone which are EPA-registered repellents.

Mosquitos require water for reproduction, laying eggs in as little as a few tablespoons of water!

• Eliminate sources of standing water around your home such as stagnant ponds, ditches, flower pots and old tires.

• Drain children’s pools, clean clogged gutters, and flush birdbaths & fountains once or twice a week.

• Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, and any similar containers that have accumulated on your property.

• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling and garbage containers that are left outside.

West Nile virus has been detected in the state of CT every year since 1999. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) reports a total of 134 human cases of West Nile virus diagnosed in CT residents since 2000, resulting in 90 hospitalizations and 3 fatalities.

The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state, including two collection sites within the Health District located at Churchill Park in Newington and Goff Road in Wethersfield. Testing begins in early June and continues through the late fall. 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. Laboratory testing detects the presence of vector borne diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE), Jamestown Canyon virus (JC), and Zika virus. Positive findings are reported to local health departments weekly and can be accessed on the CAES website at http://www.ct.gov/caes/mosquitotesting.

For more information on CCHD please contact us by visiting www.ccthd.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CCTHD4!

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Central Connecticut Health District (CCHD) is the local health department serving the towns of Berlin, Newington, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield. The district was formed in June 1996 with the towns of Rocky Hill and Wethersfield. Berlin joined the District in 1998, followed by Newington in 2006. CCHD is overseen by a fourteen member Board of Health and functions as an independent entity of government. CCHD underwent centralization in 2019 and is currently located in Rocky Hill.

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