September 6, 2013
West Nile Virus-Positive Mosquitoes Identified in 20 Towns This Season
Mosquitoes with EEE virus identified in Plainfield
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 have been found in mosquitoes 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). “This trend is likely to continue through September.”
Since June 27, the CAES has identified WNV-positive mosquitoes at trap sites in 20 towns: Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, East Haven, Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Groton, Manchester, New Haven, Norwalk, Plainfield, Stafford, Stamford, Stratford, Voluntown, Wallingford, Waterford, West Haven and Westport. 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 Hampton, Plainfield and Voluntown. 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 close part of the forest to recreational activities and to conduct ultra-low volume ground spraying to reduce the number of mosquitoes. Portions of Pachaug State Forest remain closed due to EEE activity. People in the immediate area surrounding the forest are warned to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes residents should:
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- 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.
To monitor the situation, the CAES will continue to trap mosquitoes for EEE and WNV; statewide results are available on the CAES website as they become available.
For information on West Nile virus and EEE, including what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito