FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — A type of mosquito that is capable of transmitting the Zika virus to humans has been trapped along the Connecticut shoreline, state officials announced on Thursday.
The Asian tiger mosquito is "present in Connecticut, it has shown up" in tests, Gov. Dannel Malloy said at a press conference at the Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. He described the mosquito as a secondary carrier, which is capable of carrying the virus and transmitting it to humans.
This type of mosquito was trapped in Stratford, Bridgeport, New Haven and South Windsor, according to the Hartford Courant.
Malloy stressed that none of the mosquitoes tested positive for the Zika virus. He also said state officials expected to find the Asian tiger mosquito, which has been seen in previous years in Connecticut.Theodore G. Andreadis, director of the experiment station, reiterated that point.
"We have trapped and tested 90,000 mosquitoes" since early June, Andreadis said. "Thus far, we have found no mosquitoes infected with Zika virus.
"However, we have already detected one batch of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus. These were collected in Stamford, this is totally anticipated. We are entering the West Nile virus season. ... It re-emerges every year. It's not something to be taken lightly."
Since West Nile was first recorded in Connecticut over 15 year ago, the state has recorded 130 cases, with three fatalities. "It's not something to be taken lightly," Andreadis said. "Last year, we had 10 human cases, and the hot spot was Bridgeport."
No fatalities were recorded in 2015.
As far as the Zika virus goes, Dr. Raul Pino, state commissioner of public health, said a total of 472 people in Connecticut have been tested, with results back for 373 people.
Symptoms of Zika virus include a rash, fever, joint pain and red eyes.
He said Connecticut has 31 confirmed cases of Zika virus, including three pregnant women. The Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
All the cases in the state are travel-related, with the Dominican Republic as the most common destination, and everyone has recovered, Pino said.
He said Connecticut does not expect to find any mosquito-transmitted cases of Zika to occur. But he said sexual transmission of the virus could occur here.
The Asian tiger mosquito is most commonly found in coastal areas from Greenwich to New Haven.
Click here to watch the full press conference on the CT-N website.
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