First WNV-Positive Mosquito Pool of Season
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 1, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Bridgeport on June 21, 2011 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“The detection of infected mosquitoes in June 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,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES.
“The finding by the CAES provides an early warning that the virus is circulating again this year in Connecticut,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “We encourage residents and visitors of Connecticut to take steps to prevent mosquito bites while spending time outdoors this holiday weekend and throughout the summer and early fall.”
In 2010, WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 24 municipalities; the first were trapped on June 14. In addition, last year eleven Connecticut residents were identified with WNV infections.
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 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.