FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 13, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Louis Magnarelli, Ph.D.
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Darien on July 30, 2009 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first positive mosquitoes identified in Darien by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. Positive mosquitoes were previously also identified in Stratford and Greenwich.
“The continued isolation of West Nile virus in mosquitoes is expected at this time of the season and can be expected to increase over the next two months,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “We will continue to monitor and report on mosquito populations through October.”
In 2008, eight Connecticut residents were identified with WNV infection; they included residents of Bridgeport (3), Fairfield, Sherman, Stamford (2) and a Greenwich resident infected while travelling out of the state. There were no fatalities.
“Darien is the third 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. “I want to reiterate that we are just beginning the time of the season when mosquito-transmitted diseases become a concern and that we will keep residents informed of new findings as they become available.”
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.