New CDC map shows Conn. in range of Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New maps released by the Centers for Disease Control may only get people in our area talking about the Zika virus more. That’s because they show the potential range of two types of mosquitoes that are known to be carriers of the virus and Connecticut in within their sights.

One is called the aedes albopictus, its map extends deep into New England. The other, called aedes aegypti could make its way into south western Connecticut.

John Shepard is a scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station who studies mosquitoes for the state. He says although the new maps may cause some to be concerned he stresses the chances of infected insects making their way into the state are slim.

“We don’t have large numbers of aedes albopictus or really any populations at all of aedes aegypti,” said Shepard.

However unlikely a Zika outbreak, John says people should nevertheless take steps to protect themselves. Some ways you can fight against mosquito born illnesses include wearing long sleeves, long pants, using bug spray, and if you have any standing water outside your home make sure you clear that away, too.

But should the worst happen, and scientists find mosquitoes with Zika, John tells us there is a protocol in place.

“We would immediately notify the state health department, they would then notify local health officials,” said Shepard.

The CDC reports there has been at least one person infected with Zika in Connecticut. They say that individual contracted the disease while traveling.

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