Bird-biting mosquitoes in Hampton carrying eastern equine encephalitis

The State Mosquito Management Program announced today that mosquitoes trapped in Hampton on Aug. 26 have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis virus.

These results represent the first EEE-positive mosquitoes identified in Hampton by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station this year.

The EEE-infected mosquitoes from the Hampton Reservoir trapping site were a bird-feeding species. While these mosquitoes don't typically feed on humans, the finding indicate that EEE is present in the area and people should protect themselves from mosquito bites, the state Department of Public Health said in a news release.

"The identification of a pool of EEE-positive mosquitoes in Hampton and yesterday's announcement of the first human case of West Nile virus underscore how important it is for people take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites," Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen said, referring to the first case of West Nile virus illness reported in Stamford Thursday.

Mosquitoes with EEE virus also have been identified in the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to close part of the forest to recreational activities and two camp grounds there. In addition, ultra-low volume ground spraying was conducted in the area on Aug. 27th to reduce the number of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes collected at trap sites to the south in North Stonington and Plainfield have tested negative, the news release said.

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