FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 24, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Stratford on July 15, 2009 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“The isolation of WNV at this time of the season is expected in Connecticut,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Based on past experience, WNV activity in mosquitoes will continue to increase through the summer and early fall. Fortunately, Connecticut has an extensive statewide mosquito monitoring program.”
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.
“This is the eleventh year that West Nile virus has been found in Connecticut. The recent announcement of WNV-positive mosquitoes in Stratford should be taken seriously,” said J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner. “Residents should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites during the mosquito season and eliminate standing water on their properties.”
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. 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.