Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) have been identified in 25 Connecticut towns this season, state officials say.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has identified WNV-positive mosquitoes in the following towns: Branford, Bridgeport, Colchester, Danbury, Darien, East Haddam, East Haven, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hartford, Hebron, Killingworth, Manchester, Mansfield, New Canaan, North Stonington, Norwalk, South Windsor, Stamford, Wallingford, Waterbury, Waterford, Wethersfield, Willington, Wilton.
Officials say that the highest activity levels are recorded in Fairfield and New Haven counties and the metropolitan Hartford area. The risk of WNV is expected to continue until October when mosquito activity ceases.
One human case of WNV infection has also been reported in Connecticut thus far this year.
"Now is the time to take precautions against mosquito bites," said Dr. Jason White, Director of CAES. "We encourage everyone to take protective measures such as using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."
Officials recommend reducing the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes by:
- Spending less time outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Using mosquito repellents containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, including DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-methane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
- Wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are more active.
- Making sure that door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Using mosquito netting while sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne viral disease in the continental United States. The infections occur every summer and at the beginning of fall, when mosquitoes are active, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While most people bitten by WNV-infected mosquitoes do not fall ill, about 1 in 5 people develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Some people may experience fatigue and weakness for weeks or months after the infection.
About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness that affects the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord).
People over the age of 60 and those with certain medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, are at a higher risk of developing a severe disease.
As of August 29, 455 West Nile virus human disease cases were reported across 36 states in 2023.
- Connecticut’s Official State Website. West Nile Virus Update: Positive Mosquitoes Found in 25 Connecticut Towns.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Nile Virus.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment.