NEW HAVEN >> Mosquitoes trapped in 12 municipalities have tested positive for West Nile virus this season.

They are: Branford, Glastonbury, Greenwich, North Branford, North Stonington, Orange, Plainfield, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, West Haven and Westport, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has announced.

“We continue to see increases in the number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus with expansion into several new locations throughout the state,” said Philip Armstrong, CAES medical entomologist. “This is the critical time of the year when virus activity reaches its peak in the mosquito population.”

“August and September are the months when the majority of human cases occur and represent the greatest risk for acquiring West Nile virus infection,” said CAES Director Theodore Andreadis. “Now is the time to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.”

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes residents should:

· Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

· Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

· Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods, or when mosquitoes are more active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven fabrics that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.

· Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an un-screened structure and to protect infants when outdoors.

· Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.

No human or horse cases have been reported with WNV-associated illnesses acquired in Connecticut this season. One hundred thirty one human cases of WNV illness, including three fatalities, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000.

The state Mosquito Management Program is a collaboration of the CAES, the University of Connecticut department of pathobiology and veterinary science, and the departments of Energy & Environmental Protection, Public Health, and Agriculture. These agencies are responsible for monitoring the potential public health threat of mosquito-borne diseases.

The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities statewide. Mosquito traps are set Monday-Thursday nights at each site every 10 days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped for testing according to species, collection site and date. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and at http://www.ct.gov/caes/mosquitotesting.

For information on West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit www.ct.gov/mosquito.