FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 20, 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, we continue to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses in several areas of the state,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES). “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 21 towns: Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Manchester, New Haven, Norwalk, Plainfield, Stafford, Stamford, Stratford, Voluntown, Wallingford, Waterford, West Haven, Westport and Wilton. 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.
West Nile virus activity varies each year and is difficult to predict. Generally, the greatest risk for transmission to people from infected mosquitoes is from early-August to mid-September. This season, circulation of WNV-positive mosquitoes is highest in coastal towns from Greenwich to Branford and in the Glastonbury area of central Connecticut.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Mosquitoes with EEE virus have been identified in 4 towns: Haddam, Hampton, Plainfield and Voluntown. A horse stabled in Griswold died from EEE-associated illness during the second week of September. 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.
Precautions that people should take to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes include:
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
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.