FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 31, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in North Stonington on August 20 and 25, 2010 have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE). These are the first EEE-positive mosquitoes identified in Connecticut by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. In addition, mosquitoes trapped in New Haven have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
“Identification of mosquitoes infected with eastern equine encephalitis virus in eastern Connecticut is not surprising at this time of year,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Fortunately, the numbers of Culiseta melanura, the species primarily responsible for intensifying the level of EEE activity, are relatively low indicating a low risk of transmission to people at this time. We will continue to monitor mosquito populations and the presence of West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses through October.”
“The State Mosquito Management Program continues to find mosquito-borne illnesses in Connecticut’s mosquitoes,” said Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “The announcements should serve as reminders that Connecticut residents need to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites at this time of the year to avoid getting these diseases.”
So far this season, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been identified in 19 towns – Bethel, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, Manchester, Meriden, Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, New Britain, New Haven, Orange, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven, Westport and Wethersfield. Two people, living in New Haven and Trumbull, have been reported with infections this year. An additional Connecticut resident was infected while travelling out of the state.
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 and 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.