A third Fairfield County municipality has reported mosquitoes collected have tested positive for the eastern equine encephalitis or EEE.
Despite the cooler temperatures, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) reported that mosquitoes collected from Sept. 30 to Oct. 10, in Darien were positive for the deadly virus. EEE-infected mosquitoes had previously been found in Shelton and Stamford.
Other cities and towns were mosquitoes were found with EEE include Bethany, Chester, East Lyme, Hampton, Madison, and Ledyard, according to CAES.
"Although mosquito numbers are on the wane, we continue to detect EEE virus in mosquitoes, some of which are being found in new communities,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at CAES. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation by trapping and testing mosquitoes for EEE throughout the state until the first killing frost."
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 U.S.
This year, EEE infections have been reported in 27 towns. There have been four human cases including three fatalities and six horse-related cases, all occurring in the southeastern part of Connecticut.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes residents should:
- Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
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