FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 23, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Stamford on June 14, 2010 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“The detection of infected mosquitoes in mid-June is unusual and suggests early amplification of virus activity. With warming temperatures, the isolation of West Nile virus in mosquitoes can be expected to increase and expand to other areas of the state throughout the summer and early fall,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES.
“Identifying mosquitoes positive for West Nile virus this early in the season is rare,” said Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “The presence of the virus in the mosquitoes is an indication that the virus is here and that people should take necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites.”
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.