FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 12, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped July 31- August 4, 2008 in New Canaan, Shelton, Westport, and Wilton have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in these four 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 an important role in the spread of WNV in this area in prior years.
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in 20 towns – Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Milford, New Canaan, New Haven, Norwalk, Shelton, Stamford, Stonington, Stratford, West Haven, Westport, Wethersfield, and Wilton. A resident of Sherman became ill during the third week of June with WNV infection.
“We collected West Nile virus positive mosquitoes in four additional towns and just as importantly continue to find positive mosquitoes in previously identified locations,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “The numbers of infected mosquitoes are rising increasing risk of human infections over the next several weeks.”
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.
“We are concerned about the increasing level and spread of West Nile virus infected mosquitoes,” stated Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA. “I am urging 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.