FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 18, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Theodore Andreadis, Ph.D.
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Cromwell on August 6, 2009 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first positive mosquitoes identified in Cromwell by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“Mosquito populations are high and we expect to continue to identify West Nile virus infected mosquitoes,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Connecticut residents should take announcements seriously and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”
In 2009, positive mosquitoes have been trapped in four towns. The towns include Darien, Cromwell, Greenwich and Stratford. No Connecticut residents have been identified with WNV infections.
“Cromwell is the fourth town where West Nile virus positive mosquitoes have been identified this year,” said Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner, J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “The risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases like West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis virus usually increases through the late summer and early fall.”
Monitoring and risk assessment for WNV emphasizes mosquito trapping and testing results. The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday – Thursday nights with trapping conducted at each site every ten days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Each pool is tested for the presence of viruses of public health importance including eastern equine encephalitis virus and West Nile virus. Positive findings are reported to local health departments, in press releases and on the CAES web site.
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.