This summer, the Norwalk Health Department (NHD) urges Norwalkers to prevent mosquito bites to avoid illness. NHD’s mosquito management program aims to help our residents avoid mosquito-borne illnesses through education, mosquito surveillance, and source reduction.
The best way to prevent mosquito-borne illness is to avoid mosquitoes. You can take some simple steps to reduce mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself. To avoid getting bitten:
NHD works with state officials who monitor the mosquito population throughout the state. The CT Agricultural Experiment Station monitors two mosquito trapping locations in Norwalk habitats where mosquitoes breed. This monitoring allows NHD and state officials to gauge the local mosquito population and take appropriate prevention measures based on population estimates.
The Health Department contracts with an outside agency to conduct an annual larvicide program to reduce the mosquito population. In the summer months, workers from All Habitat Inc. apply larvicide to various standing water locations and catch basins around the city. This application prevents mosquito eggs from hatching. This year, the larvicide application is scheduled for mid-August.
Infected mosquitoes can transmit disease to humans through bites. One of the most common mosquito-borne illnesses transmitted in the United States is West Nile Virus. Anyone can be infected with WNV, but according to Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH), most people infected with WNV do not develop symptoms. About 1 in 100 people who are infected develop mild illness, and even fewer infected people develop a serious and sometimes fatal illness. Older adults and individuals with compromised immune systems are at highest risk for serious illness.
Another rare but very serious illness that can be transmitted to humans from mosquitoes is EEE. CT DPH notes that an average of six cases of EEE occur each year in the entire United States. There is no cure for EEE and 3 of every 10 people who get it die from it. Survivors may experience lifelong neurological disabilities. Symptoms (e.g., high fever, headache, tiredness, nausea/vomiting, neck stiffness) usually occur 3-10 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.
Aside from West Nile Virus and EEE, there are other mosquito-borne illnesses that can affect humans. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to prevent mosquito bites.
For more information: