In early August, the Health Department launched its annual larvicide application program to reduce the mosquito population and prevent West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases. Through this program, larvicide is applied to storm drains and various standing water locations around the city to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching.
This step is important in preventing WNV, because people get the virus through mosquito bites. Chances are low that a person would become ill from a single mosquito bite. In fact, most people who are infected with WNV experience no symptoms at all. Still, the virus can cause serious illness in some people, especially those older than 50 years old. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and/or disorientation. According to state officials, there were six reported cases of WNV infection in Connecticut residents last year.
The larvicide program is just one part of the Health Department’s WNV protection strategy: reduce sources of mosquitoes, control mosquito larvae (mosquitoes that haven’t yet grown into adults), work with the state to monitor the mosquito population, and spread the word to Norwalk residents about ways to protect themselves.
Take these simple steps to avoid contact with mosquitoes:
- Use mosquito repellent when going outdoors.
- Avoid outdoor activity or use extra caution in the early morning and early evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain all collections of stagnant water, such as old tires, birdbaths, wading pools, garbage can lids, gutters, 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.
Visit these sites for more information on West Nile virus, efforts to control mosquitoes and WNV in Connecticut, and WNV statistics in CT.