Public health officials warn of increased West Nile activity

(WFSB file)

On Tuesday, the State Mosquito Management Program said mosquitoes in two Connecticut communities tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus.

The mosquitoes were collected in Hampton and Voluntown on Oct. 5 and Oct. 10. They were positively identified having EEE by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).

EEE is a rare but serious viral disease, officials from the CAES said on Tuesday. On average, there are six human cases reported each year in the United States.

“Although the weather has cooled and mosquito populations are declining, the late season detection of EEE virus in eastern Connecticut requires continued monitoring and attention,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES. “We will continue to trap and test mosquitoes in this region until the first killing frost."

"Mosquitoes are still active and residents should continue to take measures to prevent mosquito bites especially in wooded areas in eastern Connecticut" said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES. "This includes using insect repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

Officials from CAES said in CT, “outbreaks of EEE have occurred sporadically in horses and pheasants since 1938. The first locally-acquired human case and fatality occurred in October 2013 in eastern Connecticut.”

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