VOLUNTOWN, CT (WFSB) -- Mosquitoes trapped in a Connecticut state forest have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE).
The mosquitoes were trapped in the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown on July 31.
The results are the first EEE positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station this year.
Just last week, mosquitoes that were trapped in East Haven on July 30 tested positive for West Nile.
“The detection of EEE virus in July is reason for concern as conditions are suitable for further build-up of the virus in the coming weeks and months” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of the CAES. "We will continue to closely monitor mosquitoes for virus amplification and we encourage everyone to take simple measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."
Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare but serious disease in people.
The last major outbreak of EEE in the state happened in 2013 and resulted in one human fatality.
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