WESTPORT, Conn. – Don’t let the threat of West Nile virus keep you indoors. Although mosquitoes trapped in Westport recently tested positive for the virus, there are several precautions you can take to prevent mosquito bites.
Officials from the Westport Weston Health District suggest residents take the following precautions to ward off mosquitoes:
- Eliminate any object outside that can hold water and become a breeding place for mosquitoes
- Clean house gutters that may be retaining water
- Empty wading pools and bird baths every few days
- Chlorinate swimming pools regularly
- Make sure covers on grills, boats, pools and other outside equipment do not collect water
- Wear clothing that minimizes exposed skin
- Use mosquito repellents as directed
Approximately 80 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito do not show symptoms, Monica Wheeler, director of community health at the Westport Weston Health District, said in a new release. However, she said West Nile virus can cause a range of symptoms, from very mild to severe.
The elderly and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk for developing severe symptoms, Wheeler said. As such, these populations should limit their exposure to mosquitoes, especially around dusk and dawn.
Westport is among 32 towns across the state where trapped mosquitoes tested positive for the virus so far, according to the state Mosquito Management Program. Mark Cooper, director of the health district, said he is not surprised by the news.
“With mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus in towns all around us, it was only a matter of time,” he said in the news release. “This is something that happens every year.”
The frequent rainfalls and hot temperatures, Cooper said, provide perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed and for the virus to perpetuate within the mosquito population.
For more information on West Nile virus, visit the Westport Weston Health District website site.