West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in more CT towns

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) has identified West Nile virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes in four new towns: Greenwich, South Windsor, Stratford, and Westport. The mosquitoes were trapped from July 12-19, 2017.

More WNV positive mosquitoes also were identified in West Haven where the virus had been previously found in late June. “We are beginning to see an expansion of West Nile virus activity in Connecticut” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES.

“We expect further build-up of West Nile virus in mosquitoes with increased risk of human infection in the coming weeks.” “The current warm weather and high humidity provide favorable conditions for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of CAES.

“We urge everyone to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

No human or horse cases have been reported with WNV-associated illnesses acquired in Connecticut this season. One hundred thirty one human cases of West Nile virus, including three fatalities, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000.

The State of Connecticut Mosquito Management Program is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Agriculture, and the University of Connecticut Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science. These agencies are responsible for monitoring the potential public health threat of mosquito-borne diseases.

The CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state. Mosquito traps are set Monday-Thursday nights at each site every 10 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 and on the CAES website at ct.gov/caes/mosquitotesting.

For information on West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website at ct.gov/mosquito.

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