Positive Mosquitoes for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Hampton and North Stonington
Risk of West Nile Virus Continues: Positive Mosquitoes Detected in 53 Connecticut TownsThe State Mosquito Management Program announced today that mosquitoes trapped in Hampton on September 19 and North Stonington on September 26 have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. This represents the first detections of EEE-positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. In addition, West Nile virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes have been identified in 65 sites in 53 Connecticut Towns. There are no reported human or equine cases of EEE virus this season but 17 human cases of WNV infection have been reported in Connecticut so far this year.
"Although mosquito populations are declining with the onset of cool weather, the late season detection of EEE virus and the continued detection of West Nile virus requires continued vigilance,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES. “We will continue to monitor the situation and trap mosquitoes until the first killing frost."
“Mosquitoes are still active, and EEE virus and West Nile virus continue to circulate in Connecticut,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES. “I encourage residents to take simple steps to prevent mosquito bites, such as using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when biting mosquitoes are most active.”
Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare but serious viral disease in people and horses. On average, there are 6 human cases reported each year in the United States. The mortality rate of hospitalized patients is one-third and approximately one-half of survivors suffer from permanent neurological damage. In Connecticut, outbreaks of EEE have occurred sporadically in horses since 1938 and the first locally-acquired human case and fatality was reported in the fall of 2013.
West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in the United States and reemerges every summer in Connecticut. One hundred fifty-one human cases of West Nile virus, including 3 deaths, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000.
The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture, and the University of Connecticut Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science. 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 throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday – Thursday nights at each site every ten 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 http://www.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 www.ct.gov/mosquito.