FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 5, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped July 24-30, 2008 in Fairfield, Glastonbury, Stratford, West Haven, and Wethersfield have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in these five towns by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
The positive mosquitoes included Culex species. These are common mosquitoes found in Connecticut and have played a role in the spread of WNV in this area in prior years.
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in 16 towns – Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Milford, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Stonington, Stratford, West Haven, and Wethersfield. A resident of Sherman, who became ill during the third week of June, tested positive for WNV infection.
“We collected West Nile virus positive mosquitoes in five additional towns for the first time this season and continue to find positive mosquitoes in previously identified locations,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Based on results so far we should anticipate increasing risk of human infections over the next two months.”
To monitor WNV, the CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set every ten days at each site on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date.
“The increasing level and spread of West Nile virus infected mosquitoes is cause for concern,” stated Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA. “It is important for everyone to do what they can to reduce mosquito breeding areas on their property and to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors.”
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes and reduce mosquito breeding areas, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.