FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 4, 2012 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is monitoring mosquitoes for the presence of viruses that can cause illness in people including West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE). The mosquito trapping and testing program, coordinated by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), begins today and continues through October.
“The recent rains have created ideal breeding habitat for the types of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, especially in our urban and suburban communities,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Now is the time to eliminate all standing bodies of water around the home and treat storm drains and catch basins that serve as important production sites for these mosquitoes.”
Last year, WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 30 municipalities. The first WNV-infected mosquitoes were detected on June 21 and the last on October 17. EEE-positive mosquitoes were identified in Plainfield and Stonington last year.
According to the Department of Public Health, nine Connecticut residents were identified with WNV infections in 2011. There has never been a documented human case of EEE in Connecticut, but the virus is found in birds and bird-biting mosquitoes that live near wetland habitats along the eastern seaboard from New England to Florida. Health officials said that mosquito-borne diseases can be very serious, especially for the elderly and very young children.
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 with trapping conducted at each site every ten days on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date. Test results are available approximately one week after mosquito collection and are reported to local health departments.
Mosquito pools that test positive for WNV and EEE, as well as human cases of these illnesses, will be posted on www.ct.gov/mosquito.