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Greenwich Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been discovered in Greenwich, according to town health officials.
Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been discovered in Greenwich, according to town health officials. Photo Credit: Flickr user dr_relling

GREENWICH, Conn. -- The West Nile virus was found recently in mosquitoes in Greenwich, according to town Director of Health Caroline Calderone Baisley.

The State Mosquito Management Program will be trapping and testing mosquitoes at three sites in Greenwich though October, according to the town Health Department.

"Controlling the mosquito population in the larval stage through the application of larvicide has been found to be a prudent action; however, this measure only helps to reduce the mosquito population, not eliminate it. The recent warm weather and frequent rain events have increased the ability for mosquitoes to breed. Residents are encouraged to protect themselves whenever they are outdoors,” Baisley said in a statement.

The highest risk of exposure to West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes is during August and September, Environmental Supervisor Robert Farfaglia said.

For most people, contracting the West Nile virus from a mosquito bite would not have a serious effect, other than possibly minor headaches or a fever, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, for a small percentage of people, the virus can result in a life-threatening illness such as inflammation of the brain.

Minor symptoms generally go away on their own after a couple of days. But in the case of severe symptoms – serious headaches or fever, disorientation or sudden weakness – immediate medical attention is needed.

“The finding of WNV positive mosquitoes in Greenwich marks the time to emphasize that personal protection measures are extremely important against biting mosquitoes during the day and at night,” Baisley said. The town suggests the following precautions when outdoors:

  • Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s directions on the label (10 percent or less DEET for children and no more than 30 percent DEET for adults). Always wash treated skin when returning indoors.
  • Avoid application of repellents with DEET on infants and small children.
  • Cover arms and legs of children playing outdoors.
  • Cover playpens or carriages with mosquito netting.
  • Don’t camp overnight near stagnant or standing water.
  • Ensure there is no standing water on your property.

West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes were found in Norwalk earlier this summer. Read about it here in The Daily Voice.

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