NORTH HAVEN — The Central Connecticut Health District received word from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station that mosquitoes in nine different towns in the district tested positive for West Nile Virus, including North Haven.
According to Charles Brown, director of health at CCHD, West Nile is typically found around this time of year. He added that “eight of 10 people don’t really have any symptoms” when they’ve contracted the virus.
“They get the virus, their body deals with it and away they go,” he said. “Some people, probably about one in five, they actually develop some flu-like symptoms: headache, body ache, joint pain.”
Brown said that those infected with the virus could also experience vomiting and diarrhea.
West Nile leading to death is rare, with the agricultural station reporting that “approximately 10% of the symptomatic cases result in death.” Fatality is more likely for those over the age of 50.
Brown said prevention is based on “property maintenance and personal maintenance.”
“What we recommend is people limit their activities around dawn and dusk,” said Brown. “Long sleeves, using insect repellent with DEET. That really helps to limit the number of bites that someone is going to get and lower the rate of transmission.”
Additionally, it is important to eliminate as much standing water on your property as possible to stop mosquitoes from breeding. Cleaning out bird baths, emptying out any cans or garbage cans that may collect water and even investing in larvicides for any ponds or bodies of water on your property can go a long way, according to Brown.
“People can really take an active level of control with respect to West Nile Virus,” said Brown. “Everybody wants to get outside and we highly encourage that. You just have to take the right precautions to assure that you’re going to be safe as you’re doing so.”