FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 24, 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 New Canaan on September 16 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first positive mosquitoes identified in New Canaan by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“The mosquito monitoring program indicates that both West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses are circulating in Connecticut,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “We expect to continue to identify infected mosquitoes through September and October depending on the weather.”
In 2009, WNV positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 12 towns including: Cheshire, Darien, Cromwell, East Haven, Farmington, Greenwich, Milford, Monroe, New Canaan, Old Lyme, Stratford and West Haven. Eastern equine encephalitis virus infected mosquitoes have 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. To date, no Connecticut residents have been identified with WNV or EEE infections.
“With continued identification of mosquitoes carrying viruses that can cause illness in people it is essential that residents take precautions to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors over the next few weeks,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
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. 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.