A few weeks after the season’s first West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes were found in West Haven, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has announced that mosquitoes in four more towns — Greenwich, South Windsor, Stratford, and Westport – have tested positive for the illness.
The mosquitoes were trapped between July 12 and July 19.
“We are beginning to see an expansion of West Nile virus activity in Connecticut” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the Agricultural Experiment Station in a news release. “We expect further build-up of West Nile virus in mosquitoes with increased risk of human infection in the coming weeks.”
No human or horse cases have been reported with West Nile-associated illnesses acquired in Connecticut this season. A total of 131 people in the state have contracted the illness since 2000. Of those, 88 people have been hospitalized for the illness and three have died.
The Agricultural Experiment Station maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday through Thursday nights at each site every ten days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website at http://www.ct.gov/caes/mosquitotesting.
Symptoms of West Nile generally occur three to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito, and range from fever, headache, body aches, nausea and less frequently skin rashes and swollen nodes to severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness, coma or death. The illness tends to be more serious in certain groups, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.