FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 4, 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 West Haven on August 24 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first positive mosquitoes identified in West Haven by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“Mosquito populations remain high throughout the state and we expect to continue to identify infected mosquitoes in the coming weeks,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Other states in our region are also reporting an increased incidence of West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses in mosquitoes, horses and other domestic animals.”
In 2009, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in ten towns including: Cheshire, Darien, Cromwell, Farmington, Greenwich, Milford, Monroe, Old Lyme, Stratford and West Haven. In addition, EEE-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in five towns including: Hampton, Killingworth, Madison, Old Lyme, and Willington. To date, no Connecticut residents have been identified with WNV or EEE infections.
“The risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases like West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis virus usually increases through the late summer and early fall,” said Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner, J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “I am urging Connecticut residents to take announcements seriously and to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.”
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.
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.