Health officials are warning residents to cover up as a new batch of mosquitoes in Fairfield County have tested positive for West Nile.
Officials with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station report that a group of mosquitoes collected in Easton on June 19 tested positive for the disease, said Dr. Philip Armstrong, the medical entomologist with the organization.
Armstrong said the variety found in Easton -- Culex restuans — is a variety of mosquitoes that feeds almost exclusively on birds and rarely bites people
"Easton is not a typical spot where we find the disease," he added. "Mosquitoes tend to be found in suburban areas with standing water, not in a rural area such as Easton."
This is the second group of mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile so early in the season, Armstrong said. Another pool of mosquitoes trapped in New Canaan tested positive for the illness earlier in the month.
To avoid contracting the disease, which can be quite serious, Armstrong encouraged residents to wear mosquito repellent and cover bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
West Nile virus has been detected in the state every year since 1999. Last year, the CAES trapped and tested nearly 200,000 mosquitoes and identified WNV-positive mosquitoes at trap sites in 30 towns in six counties (Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham).
Three Connecticut residents were diagnosed and hospitalized due to infection. Since 2000, 134 human cases of West Nile have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents, including three fatalities.
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