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Season's First Cases of West Nile Virus Found

Connecticut officials are advising residents to take precautions.


The State Mosquito Control Program announced Friday that mosquitos trapped in Stamford on June 27th tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Stamford is the first place in the state to have mosquitos found to test positive for the virus, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

"It is important that residents take precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes," said Stamford Director of Health and Social Services Anne Fountain. "We know that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Simple measures including wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, head coverings and socks will minimize exposure to mosquitoes, which may carry the virus. The use of insect repellant is also helpful. In addition, we urge people to seek out and empty standing water in and around their homes."

Symptoms

  • Most people who are infected with WNV and become ill will have a mild illness that may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or a skin rash.
  • Less frequently, people develop severe illness of the nervous system that can also include neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
  • Persons older than 50 years of age are more likely than younger persons to suffer the more severe health consequences if they become infected with WNV.

Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
  • Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors. Always use according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin.
  • When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately two hours and 20% for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old.

Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

  • Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters.
  • Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and wheelbarrows.
  • Change water in birdbaths on a weekly basis.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and when not in use, use pool covers and drain when necessary.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.Dj

Additional resources for information on West Nile virus and mosquito management:

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