First test results from state's mosquito program to be released - WFSB 3 Connecticut

First test results from state's mosquito program to be released

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(WFSB file) (WFSB file)

The first test results for mosquito-carrying illnesses are due back next week.

The state's Mosquito Management Program said seasonal trapping and testing for the West Nile, eastern equine encephalitis and Zika viruses began on Monday.

The first wave of results should be available on June 12.

"Connecticut has a robust statewide mosquito monitoring program that includes traps and sites selected for each of the mosquito transmitted viruses of public health concern," said Dr. Philip Armstrong of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. "Historically, [West Nile virus] infected mosquitoes are identified early to mid-July each year while EEE is not expected until later in the summer."

Armstrong said It is unlikely that Zika infected mosquitoes will be identified. However, they are testing for it.

"As we enjoy the warm summer weather outdoors, it is important to take precautions to avoid mosquito and tick bites," said Dr. Raul Pino, commissioner, Department of Public Health. "Let's also remember that currently the threat of Zika virus infections among Connecticut residents is the result of travel to Zika affected areas and sexual transmission from infected men to their partners, not from local mosquito transmission." 

Last season, the program trapped more than 170,000 mosquitos and identified West Nile-positive ones at sites in 20 towns across the state. Those insects were collected between July 6 and Sept. 28, 2016.

The number of human cases has varied from year to year. While there were 21 cases reported in 2012, only one was reported last year. Infections are typically not fatal unless the patient has an underlying condition.

No EEE infections were reported last year.

From Feb. 2016 to May 2017, 115 Connecticut residents tested positive for Zika virus infection including seven pregnant women. All Zika-related infections were associated with travel to affected areas out of the state. 

More information on the state's mosquito program can be found here.

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