FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 15, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Dr. Theodore Andreadis
State Reports Mosquitoes Positive for West Nile Virus in Stamford
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Stamford on July 7, 2008 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in Stamford by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in three towns – Bridgeport, Stamford and Stonington. The infected mosquito species trapped in Stamford 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 three towns and the expected warm weather are reasons to believe that the virus is 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.
“We are fortunate that Connecticut has the ability to conduct statewide monitoring of mosquito transmitted diseases,” 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.