Mosquitoes trapped in Stamford on June 27 have tested positive for West Nile virus, the state Mosquito Management Program announced today.
These are the first positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station this year.
“The West Nile virus season has started,” Louis Magnarelli, experiment station director, said in a news release. “The very
high numbers of Culex pipiens (the species most commonly associated with West Nile virus) mosquitoes feeding on birds, warm weather, and presence of standing water are some of the factors which favor amplification of this virus in nature.”
Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, said the finding serves as a reminder to the public to take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
“Especially this holiday weekend, when many of us will be spending time with family and friends outdoors at picnics or watching fireworks, remember to use bug spray, wear long sleeves and long pants, and avoid being outdoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active,” she said.
The number of Culex pipiens at selected sites is averaging approximately 30 to 50 percent higher than average collections over the previous six years, the public health department said. Residents are urged to do what they can to reduce the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding around their homes.
Last year, nine Connecticut residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus infections.
For information on West Nile virus and preventing mosquito bites, visit: www.ct.gov/mosquito.