Governor Dannel P. Malloy and state public health officials are advising Connecticut residents to be aware of a rapid build-up of West Nile virus activity within the state, as recent tests show that infected mosquitoes are increasing at levels higher than normal for this time of year. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has detected West Nile-infected mosquitoes in 19 municipalities this year, including Bethany, Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Franklin, Greenwich, Hartford, Madison, Manchester, Meriden, New Canaan, New Haven, Stamford, Stratford, Waterbury, Waterford, West Haven and Weston. \u201cBased on the data we have so far this season, we know that cases of infected mosquitoes are rising at levels that are higher than normal, and that\u2019s why it is essential for people to take extra precautions,\u201d Malloy said in a press release. \u201cIf you need to be outside \u2013 and especially if you work outside \u2013 take action to protect yourself and your family.\u201d \u201cWe are detecting more West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes, including those that readily feed on humans, than is typical for this time of year,\u201d Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES, said. \u201cThese conditions lead to an increased risk of human infection that will likely continue from now until the end of September.\u201d \u201cWe fully anticipate further build-up of the virus in the coming weeks and expansion into other areas of the state,\u201d Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of CAES, said. \u201cThe current warm weather and high humidity are providing ideal conditions for mosquitoes and intensification of West Nile virus. Historically, August and September are the months of greatest risk for acquiring West Nile virus infection.\u201d \u201cWe are very concerned by the amount of West Nile virus we are seeing at this point in the summer season, and we urge the people of Connecticut to take the threat posed by mosquitoes that carry the virus seriously,\u201d Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said. \u00a0 \u201cIn addition to wearing long clothes, using mosquito repellant and taking other precautions to avoid mosquito bites, everyone can help to control our mosquito populations by eliminating standing water around your home and in your neighborhoods. \u00a0It takes only a small amount of standing water \u2014 in a bird bath, in an old car tire, in overturned lids, in empty pots, anywhere \u2014 to provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.\u201d \u201cConnecticut has some great natural spaces, from state parks, to state forests and wildlife management areas,\u201d Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said. \u201cWe urge those who are recreating outdoors to take common sense steps to prevent bug bites, including the use of mosquito repellents, along with wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.\u201d No human or horse cases have been reported with West Nile-associated illnesses acquired in Connecticut this season. \u00a0One hundred thirty four human cases of WNV, including three fatalities, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000. Reducing mosquitoes around homes Mosquitoes require water for reproduction. The following are measures that can help reduce mosquitoes: Eliminate standing water suitable for mosquitoes Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings. Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling. Clean clogged roof gutters. Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use, such as wading pools and wheelbarrows. Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools. When pools are not in use, use pool covers and drain when necessary. Avoiding mosquito bites outdoors Mosquitoes require a blood meal for reproduction. The following are measures that can help reduce bites from mosquitoes that feed on people: Be particularly careful at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven. Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors. Consider the use of CDC-recommended mosquito repellents, containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone, and apply according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors. When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old. Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair to avoid mosquito bites when indoors. The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. \u00a0Mosquito traps are set Monday to Thursday nights at each site every 10 days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Positive findings are reported to local health departments and on the CAES website at ct.gov\/caes\/mosquitotesting. For information on West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at ct.gov\/mosquito.