West Nile virus has been detected in 14 Connecticut towns

State health officials reported Wednesday that mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been identified in 14 towns, including Groton, North Stonington and Voluntown, while mosquitoes infected with eastern equine encephalitis have been detected in two towns, Madison and Voluntown.

Neither of the viruses has been detected in humans, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station reported.

“We are seeing increases in the number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus with expansion into new locations,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, medical entomologist at the CAES. “We have also detected eastern equine encephalitis virus from two towns in southeastern Connecticut; however, the highest level of activity continues to be in the Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown. Both viruses are expected to build up in the mosquito population in the coming weeks and months ahead."

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in the United States and re-emerges every summer in Connecticut. One hundred fifty-seven human cases of West Nile virus, including four deaths, have been diagnosed in Connecticut residents since 2000.

Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare but serious mosquito-borne viral disease in people and horses. On average, there are six human cases reported each year in the United States. In Connecticut, outbreaks of the virus have occurred sporadically in horses since 1938, and the first human case and fatality was reported in the fall of 2013.

Two horse cases of eastern equine encephalitis have been reported this year in the state, in Colchester and Columbia, along with one horse case of West Nile virus, in Easton.

The other Connecticut towns were the West Nile virus has been detected this year are: Chester, East Haven, Greenwich, Hartford, Manchester, New Haven, North Haven, South Windsor, Stamford, West Haven, and Wethersfield.

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