The rate of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes is spreading throughout Connecticut, with infected mosquitoes discovered now in 32 towns, including Westbrook just south of us and Groton just north, officials with the State Mosquito Management Program have announced.
Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed in a widening area of Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties. Insects testing positive for the disease were trapped by workers with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) from June 27 to Aug. 1 in: Bethel, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Chester, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Hartford, Killingworth, Meriden, Milford, Monroe, New Canaan, New Haven, Newington, Newtown, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, Wethersfield, and Wilton.
“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, CAES. “Virus levels will continue to increase during the next several weeks creating an elevated risk for human infection.”
“August and early September is the time of the year when people are at greatest risk of illness associated with West Nile virus infections,” said Dr. Randall Nelson, State Public Health Veterinarian with the Department of Public Health. “Everyone should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly people over 50 since they are most likely to develop serious illness.”
So far this year, according to the state’s Department of Public Health, there have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus. There were a total of 9 cases last year in Connecticut.
For more information on the disease and the state’s monitoring of it, visit the state’s Mosquito Management Program website or the state health department’s website.