Mosquitoes in Voluntown Test Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Mosquitoes trapped in Voluntown have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

The station confirmed that mosquitoes trapped on Sept. 6 came back positive for the virus. This is the first time mosquitoes have been found carrying EEE in the state this season.

Officials said EEE is a rare but serious disease in humans. The United States typically sees an average of six human cases a year. One third of hospitalized patients die from the virus and approximately half of those who survive suffer permanent neurological damage.

Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES, said that this is the first time EEE has been detected in mosquitoes in the state since 2013, when there was a fatal human case.

CAES said West Nile Virus, a more common mosquito-borne disease, has been found in 20 Connecticut towns so far this season.Those towns are Bridgeport, Cromwell, Darien, East Hartford, Easton, Fairfield, Hartford, Manchester, Milford, New Haven, Newington, Stamford, Stratford, Waterford, West Hartford, West Haven, Westport and Wethersfield.

Patrick McCormack, director of health for the Uncas Health District said there are no restrictions on outdoor activities at this time and no plans for additional spraying.

Residents can protect themselves by wearing insect repellant, covering bare skin with long sleeves and pants, and removing standing water on their property. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk.

For more information on EEE, visit the state’s Department of Health website. For information on protecting against mosquito-borne disease, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program website.

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