FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 18, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in two new towns on August 8 and 9, 2011 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Branford and New Haven by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
"The best way to protect yourself from West Nile virus is to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes," said Dr. Matthew Cartter, State Epidemiologist for DPH. "Simple steps like using insect repellent, covering exposed skin, and staying indoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, can go a long way in preventing mosquito bites."
In 2011, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 21 municipalities: Branford, Bridgeport, Cromwell, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Litchfield, Milford, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Westport, and Woodbridge. No Connecticut residents have been identified with illnesses related to WNV infections this year. In 2010, WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 24 municipalities with 11 reported human cases.
“The repeated detection of West Nile virus in mosquitoes collected throughout lower Fairfield and New Haven counties is a clear indication that the virus has now reached a level that increases the likelihood of human exposure,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “We strongly encourage people living in these communities to take necessary precautions to reduce contact with biting mosquitoes, especially during the early evening hours”.
The state uses a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities maintained by the CAES to monitor WNV activity. Positive findings are reported to local health departments, in press releases, and on the CAES web site at www.ct.gov/caes.
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.