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West Nile Virus 'Rapidly Expanding' in CT

East Haven is among the 32 towns in the state where infected mosquitoes have already been discovered, although no human cases have yet been reported.

The rate of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes is spreading throughout Connecticut, with infected mosquitoes discovered in 32 towns so far this summer, officials with the State Mosquito Management Program have announced.

Positive in East Haven

East Shore Health District officials announced late last month that tested positive for the virus. The mosquitoes were collected on July 10 at the state’s East Haven trap location.

"These findings are earlier than in past summers," district official wrote in . "There’s a lot of summer remaining, and that means that mosquitoes will be with us for several more months, and we need to take the proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites."

It appears the insects and the virus were able to weather the relatively warm, dry winter and dry conditions this spring, which might serve as a setback for summertime mosquito swarms.

A Widening Area

This summer, mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed in a widening area Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties.

In addition to East Haven, insects testing positive for the disease were trapped by workers with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) from June 27 to Aug. 1 in: Bethel, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Chester, Danbury, Darien, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Hartford, Killingworth, Meriden, Milford, Monroe, New Canaan, New Haven, Newington, Newtown, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, Wethersfield, and Wilton.

'Rapidly Expanding'

“West Nile virus is rapidly expanding throughout the state as a result of warm temperatures, high humidity, and frequent rainfall that have created ideal conditions for amplification of the virus in local mosquito populations,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Virus levels will continue to increase during the next several weeks creating an elevated risk for human infection.”

“August and early September is the time of the year when people are at greatest risk of illness associated with West Nile virus infections,” said Dr. Randall Nelson, State Public Health Veterinarian with the Department of Public Health. “Everyone should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly people over 50 since they are most likely to develop serious illness.”

No Reported Human Cases

So far this year, according to the state’s Department of Public Health, there have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus. There were a total of 9 cases last year in Connecticut.

For more information on the disease and the state’s monitoring of it, visit the state’s Mosquito Management Program website or the state health department’s website.

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