(WFSB) -- While Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus activity is declining, it continues to be detected in mosquitoes across the state.
Between Sept. 30 and Oct. 10, the state’s Agricultural Experiment Station said EEE-infected mosquitoes were found in Bethany, Chester, Darien, East Lyme, Hampton, Madison, and Ledyard, bringing the number of towns where mosquitoes tested positive this season to 21.
As of Oct. 16, towns with EEE Positive Mosquitoes have been: Bethany, Chester, Darien, Groton, East Lyme, Haddam, Hampton, Killingworth, Ledyard, Lyme, Madison, Middlefield, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Plainfield, Shelton, South Windsor, Stamford, Stonington, Voluntown, Waterford
"Although mosquito numbers are on the wane, we continue to detect EEE virus in mosquitoes, some of which are being found in new communities,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation by trapping and testing mosquitoes for EEE throughout the State until the first killing frost."
Three deaths linked to the EEE virus were reported this year and one other person was hospitalized.
The third and most recent death was a person in their 60s from East Haddam who became sick during the second week of September.
The fourth person who is infected is from Colchester and is in their 40s. The person contracted the virus in late August and remains hospitalized.
The first two confirmed human cases of EEE were in the East Haddam/Colchester area.
It is unclear at this time where these victims contracted the virus.
While there continues to be a lingering detection of EEE, officials said they do not anticipate any further build-up of the virus as mosquito breeding is over.
“We do, however, recommend that residents continue take precautionary measures against mosquito bites such as insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially in wooded areas and during dusk when biting mosquitoes are most active,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases at the CAES.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes residents should:
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
For more information about EEE in the state, click here.
To learn more about the virus, click here.