State Reports Mosquitoes Test Positive for EEE in Chester
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 15, 2012 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus (WNV) have been identified in 40 towns so far this season. Also announced were the first mosquitoes testing positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
The WNV positive mosquitoes were trapped by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) from June 27 to August 8 in: Bethel, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Chester, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Killingworth, Meriden, Milford, Monroe, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, Newington, Newtown, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Old Lyme, Shelton, South Windsor, Southington, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Hartford, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, Wethersfield, and Wilton. The EEE positive mosquitoes, Culiseta melanura, a bird feeding species, were trapped in Chester on August 8.
“While the identification of mosquitoes infected with eastern equine encephalitis virus occurs during most years, the detection of infected mosquitoes this early in the season is of concern,” said Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Fortunately the numbers of Culiseta melanura, the species that is primarily responsible for intensifying the level of virus activity, are relatively low indicating a low risk of transmission to people at this time. We will continue to monitor mosquito populations through October.”
“The best protection against encephalitis for horses is to keep vaccinations up to date for EEE, WNV and rabies. Owners should call their veterinarians for assistance as soon as a horse becomes sick,” said Dr. Mary Jane Lis, State Veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture. “Equine practitioners are reminded to notify the Department of cases of reportable diseases and that diagnostic assistance is available from the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Connecticut.”
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 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 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.