Heavy Rains Bring Record Number Of Mosquitoes; West Nile Expected
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, which runs the state’s mosquito trapping and testing program, is reporting record numbers of mosquitoes this year. Chief Entomologist Dr. Theodore Andreadis says it’s a direct result of the heavy rains.
"We're seeing some numbers that exceed anything that we've seen in the past. Just last week, for example, we trapped and tested over 32,000. And two days in July, we had 16,000 come in. So, we're at capacity right now," he said. So far this year, the mosquitoes have not tested positive for West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis, but Andreadis thinks that will change. "With the heat that we're having now. If the weather, at least the rainy weather begins to subside, I would anticipate that within the next few weeks, we will see some West Nile virus," Andreadis said. Also, known as Triple E. Both West Nile and Triple-E can lead to potentially dangerous illnesses. Last year, there were 21 human cases of West Nile virus in Connecticut. The majority were hospitalized, but there were no fatalities. To date the state has had 110 human cases of West Nile with three fatalities. Connecticut has not had a confirmed human case of Triple E, though Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York have reported human infections. Andreadis says people should take precautions when outdoors. He recommends residents use insect repellant, put screens on windows, and eliminate standing bodies of water.