HARTFORD, Conn — Editor's Note: The video above is from August 2021.
Two mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus were found during testing in Hartford's Keney Park last week, officials announced Wednesday.
Officials reiterated that the West Nile virus has been detected in Connecticut every year since 1999.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin urged residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites until the warm weather ends and asked them to report any potential WNV infections to a health care professional.
“Until we get the first frost, we should all take basic steps to prevent mosquito bites,” said Bronin.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station tests a sample of mosquitos collected at locations across the state during the warmer weather.
Three people in the state have contracted the West Nile virus this season. Last week, the Department of Public Health (DPH) said a patient from Hartford, in their '50s, became ill during the last week of August with encephalitis and is recovering.
The previous two patients diagnosed with West Nile-associated illness are residents of the towns of Bridgeport and West Haven and became ill during the third week of August. Both these patients are also recovering.
According to officials, symptoms of WNV can range from a slight fever, headache, rash, swollen lymph nodes and nausea to the rapid onset of a severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness, and coma.
The city has worked for the last 15 years to control the mosquito population to reduce the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. Officials said the city’s catch basins are treated twice over the summer. Additionally, the wooded areas of Keney Park have also been treated.
The city offered this advice:
Preventing mosquito bites:
- Be aware that mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn and take preventative steps during that time.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and protect small babies when outdoors.
- Use mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
Preventing mosquitoes at home:
- Dispose of water-holding containers such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
- Clean clogged roof gutters.
- Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and wheelbarrows.
- Change water in birdbaths on a weekly basis.
- Use landscaping techniques to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.
Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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