Summer months bring fun in the sun, but they also bring mosquitoes! These bugs are more than just a nuisance with their itchy, uncomfortable bites; mosquitoes can carry serious diseases like West Nile Virus. Therefore, during this time of year, the Health Department activates its mosquito management program to help protect Norwalkers from mosquito-borne diseases.
The Health Department's program includes three parts:
- an annual larvicide application to reduce the mosquito population and prevent mosquito-borne diseases
- working with state officials to monitor the mosquito population
- informing the public about how to protect themselves from mosquito bites
Controlling the Mosquito Population
The Health Department launched its annual larvicide application program in early August to reduce the mosquito population and prevent mosquito-borne diseases. Workers from All Habitat Inc. apply larvicide to various standing water locations around the city, which prevents mosquito eggs from hatching.
West Nile activity increased across the state in July and August. CT Department of Public Health (CT DPH) notified the Health Department of Norwalk’s first West Nile-infected mosquitoes of the season in August. (The state had already found positive mosquitoes in several other towns around Norwalk earlier in the season.) On August 10, CT DPH reported the first two human cases of West Nile Virus infection in CT this year. Last year, a total of three human cases were reported in the state, none of which were in Norwalk.
According to CT DPH, most people infected with West Nile Virus do not develop symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms, and even fewer (about 1 out of 150) infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. These statistics demonstrate that even though serious illness from West Nile Virus is rare, protection measures are very important.
“With the warm weather and recent rain, we are concerned about the likelihood of more mosquitoes and the risk of human infection with West Nile,” said Deanna D’Amore, MPH, Norwalk Director of Health. “This risk is likely to continue through the end of September.”
The best way to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites! Take these steps to avoid getting bitten:
- Apply mosquito repellent before going outdoors.
- Drain stagnant water in old tires, birdbaths, wading pools, garbage can lids, and cans in recycle bins.
- Keep gutters and leaders free of debris.
- Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Do not leave swimming pools uncovered without chlorinating and filtering.
Click here for more information about the Health Department’s mosquito management program.
Click here for more information about mosquitoes, statistics, and management activities at the state level.