DEEP: State Mosquito Program Announces Start Of Mosquito Testing For West Nile And Eastern Equine Encephalitis Viruses

June 1, 2009

State Mosquito Program Announces
Start of Mosquito Testing for West Nile and
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Viruses

The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is again monitoring mosquitoes for the presence of viruses that can cause illness in people including West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) in 2009. The mosquito trapping and testing program, coordinated by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), will begin on June 1st. Reporting test results will begin the following week.

"With the start of sustained warm weather mosquitoes will be out and about, particularly at dusk and dawn," said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. "While I am encouraging all of the state’s residents to get out and enjoy the beauty that Connecticut has to offer, I also want to remind them to take appropriate precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. West Nile Virus, eastern equine encephalitis, and other diseases have been detected in mosquitoes in our state during previous seasons, so it is important to heed announcements of mosquito testing results."

In 2008, eight Connecticut residents were identified with WNV infection; they included residents of Bridgeport (3), Fairfield, Sherman, Stamford (2) and a Greenwich resident infected while travelling out of the state. There were no fatalities. No human cases of EEE were identified.

"It is prudent to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites during the mosquito season," Dr. Galvin stated. "We also ask the public to reduce mosquito breeding areas around homes by eliminating standing water."

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. Positive findings are reported to local health departments, in press releases and on the CAES web site.

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.