The East Shore District Health Department has received confirmation that mosquitoes recently sampled in North Branford carried the West Nile virus.
The mosquitoes were collected on September 24 from the Cedar Lake area of North Branford. The species of mosquito, culex-restuans, are found in a wide variety of places, such as old tires, stagnant pools of ground water, artificial containers, or catch basins.
The warm weather has created ideal conditions for the spreading of West Nile Virus infected mosquitos. To this date there have been two human cases reported in Connecticut in Fairfield County this year.
In 2012, there were 21 human cases in Connecticut. People are most vulnerable to the West Nile Virus in August and September. Although it is autumn we expect that mosquitoes will be with us for several more weeks. Please take the proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Personal protection measures include:
· Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn.
· Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
· Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long sleeved shirt when and where mosquitoes are most active.
· Use mosquito netting when sleeping and to protect small babies when outdoors.
· Consider the use of mosquito repellent containing DEET, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
The Health District is also advising that people continue eliminating stagnant water in and around their properties.
· Dispose of water holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, tire swings.
· Drill holes in bottoms of recycling containers.
· Clean clogged roof gutters
· Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, etc.
· Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used, including pool covers.
· Use landscaping to eliminate standing water on your property.
Mosquitoes are collected approximately every 10 days. The town of North Branford has funded a mosquito larvacide program that includes application of larvacide to mosquito breeding areas, as well as storm water catch basin larvacide treatments. The East Shore District Health Department locally administers the program that includes mosquito and human surveillance and aggressive elimination of mosquito breeding conditions. For more information, you may call the Health District at (203) 481-4233 or visit its website at www.esdhd.org.
-- information for this article supplied by the East Shore District Health Department of Branford