We were all so consumed with fear about Zika that we forgot that we have our very own form of bug-born terrorism brewing right here in our neck of the woods.  West Nile virus is, officially, back in the state and bigger than ever.

Stratford Star says a couple of mosquitoes trapped at Beacon Point on August 4th have tested positive for the virus.  Due to an explosion in the mosquito population, Stratford’s health department is urging residents to take extra precaution.  This warning applies to all cities and towns in the state.

Health Director Andrea Boissevain urged residents to “Take quick and easy steps to prevent exposure and bites like wearing long sleeves, especially at dawn and dusk and use insect repellent.”

He added, “This has been a particularly bad season with a larger than normal crop of mosquitoes. With positive WNV-carrying mosquitoes, residents should double-down on taking precautions.”

If you are bitten by an infected mosquito, you have a 1 in 100 chance of falling ill.  Mostly, those infected with West Nile experience manageable symptoms such as headaches, rash, and nausea.  Other side-effects include fever, body aches, and vomiting.   These symptoms last anywhere between 3 to 14 days.

But,West Nile can turn severe with patients experiencing tremors, disorientation, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, losing consciousness, and paralysis.   The older the patient, the greater the chance of developing more severe symptoms.

Either way, getting bit by a mosquito sucks.  Once they sink their little spout of blood-sucking doom into your skin, you’ve officially entered itching hell.  And, I swear, these little suckers are getting more creative on where they draw blood.  I mean, have you ever been bitten under your big toe?  I have.  Imagine trying to gracefully itch that bite in front of your coworkers.

Spoiler alert: there isn’t a graceful way to itch a bite.

Rambling aside, for a list of mosquito safety precautions to protect you and your family from itching, West Nile, and EEE, visit CT.gov’s official guide.

For the record, there are no cases of locally transmitted Zika in the state.  However, there’s been West Nile cases every year since the year 2000.

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