Mosquitoes with EEE virus identified in 5 towns
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 4, 2013 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Theodore Andreadis
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today released an update on mosquito trapping and testing results. This season both West Nile virus (WNV)- and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus- infected mosquitoes have been identified in Connecticut.
“Although mosquito populations are declining, mosquitoes infected with West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses are still present in several areas of the state,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES). “Considering the warm weather recently, it is important that people continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”
Since June 27, the CAES has identified WNV-positive mosquitoes at trap sites in 22 towns: Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Manchester, New Haven, North Branford, Norwalk, Plainfield, Stafford, Stamford, Stratford, Voluntown, Wallingford, Waterford, West Haven, Westport and Wilton. The most recent positive mosquitoes were trapped in North Branford on September 24th. Two Connecticut residents have been diagnosed with WNV-associated illnesses including a Stratford resident, 60-69 years with onset of illness during the last week of July, and a Stamford resident, 80-89 years with onset during the third week of August. Both are recovering.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Since July 10, mosquitoes with EEE virus have been identified in 5 towns: Haddam, Hampton, North Stonington, Plainfield and Voluntown. The most recent positive mosquitoes were trapped on September 24th in North Stonington and Voluntown. A horse stabled in Griswold died from EEE-associated illness during the second week of September. During early to mid-September pheasants in a farm flock in Killingly and a flock in Sprague died from EEE infections. No human EEE infections have been identified.
The numbers and types of mosquitoes with EEE identified in the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown prompted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to temporarily close part of the forest to recreational activities and to conduct ultra-low volume ground spraying to reduce the number of mosquitoes. Pachaug State Forest is now open to daytime activities but overnight camping remains prohibited.
With the start of hunting season, those who will be spending time outdoors are encouraged to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, including using insect repellent. In addition, hunters are reminded that, as with all game, they should take proper precautions when handling birds, including wearing gloves when field dressing, not consuming game that appears sickly, and thoroughly cooking all game meats.
For information on West Nile virus and EEE, including what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes and the latest mosquito test results, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.