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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

West Nile Virus Infected Mosquito Found in Westport

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) said today it has identified West Nile Virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes in four new towns including Westport.

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A map shows where infected mosquitoes have been found since late June.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) CAES graphic

The Westport mosquito was captured July 18 at the state’s collection point on North Avenue, a news release said

Infected mosquitoes were also found in Greenwich, South Windsor, and Stratford, it said.

The latest infected mosquitoes were trapped from July 12 to July 19. More WNV positive mosquitoes were also identified in West Haven where the virus had been previously found in late June, the first this year.

“We are beginning to see an expansion of West Nile virus activity in Connecticut,” said Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES.

“We expect further buildup of West Nile virus in mosquitoes with increased risk of human infection in the coming weeks.”

“The current warm weather and high humidity provide favorable conditions for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus,” said Theodore Andreadis, director of CAES.

“We urge everyone to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

No human or horse cases have been reported with WNV-associated illnesses acquired in Connecticut this season.

The agency said 131 human cases of West Nile virus, including three fatalities, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000.

The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture, and the University of Connecticut Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science.

These agencies are responsible for monitoring the potential public health threat of mosquito-borne diseases.

The CAES 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 (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date.

Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website at http://www.ct.gov/caes/mosquitotesting.

For information on West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at http://www.ct.gov/mosquito.

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Posted 07/25/17 at 09:23 PM  Permalink



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