FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 22, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Theodore Andreadis, Ph.D.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus found in Darien, Shelton, South Windsor, and Voluntown
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Darien, Shelton, South Windsor, and Voluntown on September 14-16 tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE). These are the first EEE positive mosquitoes identified in these four towns by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“The state mosquito monitoring program continues to identify mosquitoes carrying viruses that can cause illness in people,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “It is essential that residents take precautions to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors over the next few weeks.”
“We are finding increased EEE activity throughout eastern and central Connecticut and expect to continue to identify infected mosquitoes through September and October depending on the weather,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES.
In 2009, EEE in mosquitoes has been confirmed in 16 Connecticut towns: Chester, Darien, Guilford, Hampton, Hebron, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, North Branford, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Shelton, South Windsor, Tolland, Voluntown and Willington. West Nile virus positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 11 towns including: Cheshire, Darien, Cromwell, East Haven, Farmington, Greenwich, Milford, Monroe, Old Lyme, Stratford and West Haven. To date, no Connecticut residents have been identified with WNV or EEE infections.
The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state to monitor and assess the risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases. Cases of disease in people are investigated by the Department of Public Health and disease in domestic animals are investigated by the Department of Agriculture. Veterinarians are requested to report suspect horse cases to the State Veterinarian. While vaccines for WNV or EEE are not available for people, they are available for horses, the domestic animal most susceptible to disease.
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.