FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo, 860-524-7313
September 16, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerned that mosquitoes carrying potentially deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus have been showing up in an increasing number of Connecticut communities, Governor M. Jodi Rell today has directed state health and environmental officials to closely monitor the situation and provide timely and detailed updates to her and local leaders.
“Through our statewide mosquito trapping program, we have determined that the virus has now been identified in human-biting mosquitoes. It is essential that citizens take every precaution to avoid mosquito bites over the next few weeks and that means trying to avoid going outdoors at dusk when mosquitoes are most active,” Governor Rell said.
Governor Rell will hold a statewide conference call tomorrow afternoon with local municipal leaders, health districts and emergency directors on updates of EEE in
The Governor said the presence of mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus is more widespread and greater in numbers than in previous years. EEE in mosquitoes has been confirmed in 12 Connecticut towns this year: Chester, Guilford, Hampton, Hebron, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, North Branford, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Tolland and Willington.
The virus has also been detected in several Northeast states and there has been a human case in
The state addressed a similar surge in EEE-mosquito activity in the late 1990s, mostly in southeastern
“Precaution and prevention are critical as we get through the final few weeks of the mosquito season,” Governor Rell said. “We will not be out of the woods, however, until after the first major frost.”
Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare but often serious disease. Symptoms of EEE can include high fever, stiff neck, headache and lack of energy. The most serious result of infection is encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, and is fatal in approximately one-third of persons who become ill. Symptoms generally appear from 3 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:
Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors. Always use according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Do not apply to the hands of children or to infants less than 2 months old.
Additional resources for information on
Connecticut Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito/
The Department of Public Health Web site at www.ct.gov/dph
The Department of Environmental Protection Web site at www.ct.gov/dep
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Web site at www.ct.gov/caes
The Department of Agriculture Web site at www.ct.gov/doag
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.cdc.gov