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Greenwich Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile

GREENWICH, CONN. — Mosquitoes trapped in Greenwich on July 13 have tested positive for West Nile virus, the first mosquitoes identified positive this year in town.

“We have seen a significant increase in the abundance of Culex mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus throughout the region,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, chief medical entomologist for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, in a prepared statement. “With the recent heat wave we anticipate an accelerated build-up of virus activity in mosquitoes in the coming weeks.”

So far, West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes have been found in Bridgeport on June 21, in Orange on June 29, the third on July 13 in Greenwich, and the fourth in Bridgeport on June 21. No residents of Connecticut have tested positive for the illness this year.

The state uses a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities to monitor West Nile activity. Mosquitoes are grouped for testing according to species, collection site and date. Each group is tested for the presence of viruses of public health importance. Positive findings are reported to local health departments, in press releases, and on the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website.

Here are some tips to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes :

• Avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

• If you plan to be outdoors for a long period of time, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and use mosquito repellent according to the manufacturer’s directions on the label (10% or less DEET for children and no more than 30% DEET for adults). Always wash treated skin when returning indoors. Avoid application of repellents with DEET on infants and small children.

• Cover up arms and legs of children playing outdoors and cover playpens or carriages with mosquito netting.

• Don’t camp overnight near stagnant or standing water where mosquitoes are most active.

In addition, Greenwich residents are urged to continue to participate in the town’s mosquito control efforts by eliminating areas of standing water around their homes by:

• Getting rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any water holding containers;

• Filling in or draining any puddles, ruts in yard;

• Keeping rain gutters, drains, ditches and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly;

• Covering trash containers to keep out rainwater;

• Repairing leaky pipes and outside faucets;

• Emptying plastic wading pools at least once a week and storing indoors when not in use;

• Making sure your backyard pool is properly chlorinated;

• Filling in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that may hold water with sand or concrete;

• Changing the water in birdbaths and plant pots or drip trays at least once a week;

• Keeping grass cut short and shrubbery well-trimmed around the house;

• Eliminating collected water in boat or pool covers.

Will you be stepping up efforts to ensure mosquitoes do not bite you or your family? Comment below or send responses to ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com .

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