New Haven, CT – The State Mosquito Management Program reminds residents to take steps to prevent mosquito bites as West Nile virus (WNV) is present in Connecticut. So far this season, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has identified WNV infected mosquitoes in two communities in Fairfield County, Stamford and Bridgeport.
“The number of infected mosquitoes is increasing and we urge residents to be aware and take precautions,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES. “As in years past, we expect to see further build-up and geographic expansion of West Nile virus in mosquitoes throughout the region with increased risk of human infection over the remainder of the summer and into early fall.”
“Historically, August and September are the months of greatest risk for acquiring West Nile virus infection.” said Dr. Raul Pino, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. “As we head into late summer, I ask everyone to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
The CAES is also monitoring the distribution and abundance of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which has been shown to be a competent vector of Zika virus. This mosquito has been found in eight towns in Connecticut: Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, South Windsor and West Haven, but all mosquitoes have tested negative for Zika virus.
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.