West Nile Virus Detected in Mosquitoes in Wethersfield, Connecticut
In a recent development, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has confirmed the detection of West Nile virus (WNV) in mosquitoes trapped in Wethersfield, Connecticut. These mosquitoes were trapped on July 17, marking the first positive identification of WNV in mosquitoes this year.
Dr. Philip Armstrong, a medical entomologist at the CAES, has attributed this increase in mosquito activity and the likelihood of WNV build-up to recent rainfall, high humidity, and warm temperatures. He warns that these conditions may lead to a surge in West Nile virus cases in the coming weeks.
Given the situation, the residents of Connecticut are being strongly advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases. These measures include minimizing outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, ensuring the screens on doors and windows are in good repair, wearing protective clothing, and considering the use of EPA-approved mosquito repellents. For those sleeping outdoors or in unscreened structures, mosquito netting is recommended.
Last year, WNV was detected in 185 mosquito pools across 24 towns in six counties in Connecticut. Most WNV activity was concentrated in densely populated urban and suburban regions, particularly in Fairfield, Hartford, and New Haven counties.
In 2022, there were seven reported cases of WNV-associated illness in humans with onset dates ranging from August 11 to September 20. This highlights the seriousness of the disease and the need to take preventive measures to avoid infection.
As the detection of WNV in mosquitoes serves as a timely reminder of the potential health risks, the CAES and other authorities are working diligently to monitor and control mosquito populations in the affected areas.
In light of this development, it is essential for individuals to stay informed about preventive measures and heed the advice provided to minimize the risks associated with mosquito-borne diseases.
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