Governor Malloy, State officials provide update on Zika prevention efforts

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Governor Dannel Malloy held a news conference Thursday morning to provide an update on the state’s efforts to prevent transmission of the Zika virus.

Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Director Dr. Theodore Andreadis joined the Governor during the news conference about the state’s prevention efforts.The state of Connecticut has been extremely aggressive when it comes to Zika, lead by these two departments.

Related: First possible mosquito transmitted Zika case in U.S.

Here’s what you need to know from today’s Zika update:

  • There have been no Zika cases transmitted by mosquitoes here in Connecticut.
  • All Zika cases tied to Connecticut have been travel-related.
  • Since June, officials have been trapping for the Asian Tiger mosquito, a secondary carrier for Zika. So far, Asian Tiger mosquitoes have been detected in three areas in Connecticut, but they have all tested negative for the virus.

Web Extra: Watch today’s entire Zika update

In addition to those announcements this morning, the State is instituting what they’re calling “Sentinal Screening”. Health officials are screening ten people per week with potential Zika symptoms who have not traveled to Zika-infected regions.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy explained what Sentinal Screening is all about during the news conference.

They are going to look for people who report similar symptoms to the virus, who don’t say they have necessarily been to a place where it’s being transmitted, and test them for the virus.”

Related Content: Connecticut to receive $320,564 to address Zika virus

Dr. Pino explained that the Sentinal Screening is focused on local transmission of the virus.

It will look for local transmission. There are two ways that local transmission can happen if nothing else is discovered. It’s either by mosquito, or by sexual tramsission.”

Health officials are focusing in the lower Fairfield and New Haven counties. These areas are more at-risk for detecting the Asian Tiger mosquito. Those counties are also where there are pockets of residents who are more likely to travel to Zika-infected regions.

The screenings will occur at some local community health centers in Stamford, Bridgeport, and Stratford; and some hospitals in those counties will be involved as well.

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