FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 29, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped July 17-21, 2008 in Darien, East Haven, Hamden, Hartford, New Haven, and Norwalk have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in these six 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 11 towns – Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Greenwich, Hamden, Hartford, Milford, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford and Stonington. A resident of Sherman, who became ill during the third week of June, tested positive for WNV infection.
“We identified West Nile virus from mosquitoes in six additional towns in three counties,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “The findings demonstrate that virus activity is intensifying across the state. We can expect further build-up during August increasing the potential for transmission of virus to people.”
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.
“I am urging people to heed warnings of mosquito transmitted disease,” 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.