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6/20/2016 - Mayor Ganim, Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Himes Join Bridgeport Community Leaders to Raise Awareness of Steps Needed to Prevent Zika Virus and other Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mayor Joseph P. Ganim

Bridgeport, CT

For Immediate Release                                                                             For More Information:

June 20, 2016                                                             Av Harris (203) 814-7992

-Press Release-

Mayor Ganim, Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Himes Join Neighborhood Leaders to Raise Awareness of Steps
Needed to Prevent Zika Virus and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Volunteers Distribute Leaflets in The Hollow Neighborhood Illustrating Simple Steps Residents Can Take to Eliminate Mosquito Habitat and Breeding 


Video from News Conference:

Bridgeport, CT – With the start of the summer season, Mayor Joe Ganim today joined Connecticut US Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) joined community leaders in The Hollow neighborhood to raise community awareness of simple steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of Zika virus, West Nile Virus, and other mosquito-borne diseases.    Following the news conference to announce steps the city has taken to reduce mosquito habitat, volunteers fanned out into the neighborhood to distribute leaflets educating residents on what can be done to protect the community from the health hazards posed by the aggressive mosquito-borne diseases such as eliminating standing water, cleaning gutters, repairing windows and screens and other steps.


“Zika virus and West Nile Virus are very serious diseases and global problems, but in Bridgeport these are also neighborhood challenges that we need to get ahead of,” said Mayor Ganim.  “Neighborhood cleanliness can have a direct impact on these health hazards, and there are very simple steps residents can take to reduce the risk of exposure to these mosquito-borne diseases as we can get into the summer.  Mosquitoes breed in standing water so the more we can do to eradicate these standing pools of water that don’t drain, the less mosquito infestation we will have.  The city already has a mosquito larvacide program in place and we have been treating the water catch basins throughout the city.  But we also need the cooperation and help of residents to take steps like clean gutters and keep swimming pools chlorinated, eliminate poor draining puddles.  This is an all hands on deck effort and we need to everything we can to make Bridgeport inhospitable for these harmful insects.”


Senator Blumenthal said, “Zika is a spreading threat to our nation – all over the northeast and the southern parts of our country.  It is a vicious, insidious virus and its hand maiden is the mosquito.  The Mosquito is the great enemy.  The effort in Bridgeport to combat mosquito habitat is so important because in addition to Zika, mosquitoes spread other harmful diseases such as West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Chickungunya and Malaria.  The federal government has abdicated its responsibility to fund vaccination efforts to fight these diseases and is playing political football with this important health concern.  That’s why the majority of the effort will have to be done on the local level.  These simple steps to reduce mosquito population in Bridgeport will help save lives.  In the meantime, we will fight in Washington DC for the dollars that need invested to solve this global problem.”


Congressman Himes said, “Zika virus and other mosquito borne diseases are a world health problem that residents of neighborhoods in cities like Bridgeport in their homes or who live around parks can solve easily.   Mosquitoes cannot breed if they don’t start their lives in standing water.  Even a soda cap with water in it can serve as a breeding area for mosquitoes.  Each and everyone of us can do our part to educate our friends and neighbors about the kind of cleanup needed to reduce infestation by mosquitoes and the risk of exposure to these diseases.”


Zika virus in pregnant women has been linked to birth defects in children such as microcephaly; and the disease has been detected throughout South America and more recently in Puerto Rico.  West Nile Virus can cause high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and can even lead to paralysis in severe cases.  There were confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in the Hollow neighborhood in Bridgeport in 2015.  Also joining Mayor Ganim, Senator Blumenthal and Congressman Himes for the news conference were Bridgeport city councilman Jose Casco, and Councilwomen Denise Taylor-Moye and Jeanette Herron.  For more information about how to protect youself against mosquito-borne diseases, residents are urged to go online and visit