Connecticut Mosquitoes Test Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Voluntown

(James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File)
(James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The first sample of eastern equine encephalitis infected mosquitoes have show up this season in Voluntown, CT. The State Mosquito Management Program announced the mosquitoes were trapped in Voluntown on September 12, 2016. In addition, West Nile virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes have been identified in 20 Connecticut towns: Bridgeport, Cromwell, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Hartford, Manchester, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, Newington, Stamford, Stratford, Wallingford, Waterford, West Hartford, West Haven, Westport, and Wethersfield.

In 2013, a person in that same region of Voluntown, Connecticut died from a mosquito infected with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). “Mosquitoes are still active, and EEE and West Nile virus continue to be detected in the state” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES. “I encourage residents to take measures to prevent mosquito bites, such as using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

On average there are 6 human cases each year in the United States of EEE. The mortality rate of hospitalized patients is one-third and approximately one-half of people who survive infection suffer from permanent neurological damage. In Connecticut, outbreaks of EEE have occurred sporadically in horses and pheasants since 1938 and the first locally-acquired human case was the fatality in 2013.

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