FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 23, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Milford on July 14, 2008 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in Milford by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in four towns – Bridgeport, Milford, Stamford and Stonington, and a resident of Sherman has tested positive for WNV infection. The infected mosquito species trapped in Milford was Culex pipiens, a common mosquito species found in residential areas and one of the species that is responsible for spreading WNV in Connecticut. During 2007, WNV was identified in mosquitoes in 18 towns.
“The isolations of West Nile virus from Culex mosquitoes in four towns and the expected warm weather are clear indication that the virus is now building across the state,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “We will continue to monitor mosquitoes through the summer and fall and ask property owners to reduce mosquito breeding areas.”
To monitor WNV, the CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state from June through October. 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.
“Last week’s identification of a Sherman resident with West Nile virus and the recently announced positive mosquito pools are causes for concern,” said J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A, Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner. “Announcements alerting the public to important findings should be taken seriously. The DPH is asking residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites especially the elderly living in areas where WNV is identified.”
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.