The state will be testing mosquitoes for Zika virus this year in addition to West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Starting today, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has begun seasonal mosquito trapping and testing and said the first set of test results will be available during the week of June 6.
“With regard to Zika virus, our overriding goal will be to prevent the establishment of the virus in the State, in the unlikely event that we detect Zika in local mosquito populations,” Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said in a statement.
Department of Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Raul Pino, said the current threat of Zika virus infections among Connecticut residents is from travel to Zika-affected areas and sexual transmission from infected men to their partners.
“While we do not at this time anticipate much local mosquito transmission of Zika this season, we will be vigilantly monitoring our local mosquito populations and working with our municipal partners to engage communities and citizens in taking common sense steps to help reduce mosquito populations,” he said.
EEE is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year, mostly in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states. However, it often causes serious neurologic illnesses and fatalities.
During 2015, no EEE infected mosquitoes were identified and no human or domestic animal infections were reported in Connecticut.
Zika virus commonly causes fever, rash, conjunctivitis or other mild symptoms and rarely a neurological illness among infected people. It can also cause serious birth defects when a woman is infected during pregnancy.