EEE Testing in Northeastern Connecticut

September 9, 2019

I have been in communication with Sue Starkey the Director the Northeast District Department of Health and Philip M. Armstrong, ScD at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station regarding the mosquito testing practices of the State and in our region.

Several constituents have reached out to me concerned that testing has not taken place in the Union, Eastford, Woodstock & Pomfret area. Tests conducted in Hampton and Plainfield as well over the Massachusetts line have had mosquito test positive for EEE.
I shared the concern about testing locations and had a good dialog with the health professionals as a result. 

Dr. Armstrong reports, “This is an unusual year for EEE virus and we’re seeing high numbers of mosquitoes carrying EEE virus in eastern Connecticut. Residents should assume that there is a risk within their community and should take the appropriate precautions to avoid mosquito bites such as covering up and wearing insect repellent when outdoors. We trap and test mosquitoes at 92 locations statewide, but we do not have the resources or manpower to trap in every community. We have traps in nearby Stafford, Willington, Hampton, and Plainfield. We’ve detected EEE virus in ten towns statewide including in nearby Hampton and Plainfield. We haven’t detected the virus in Stafford or Willington.” 

Director Starkey reports, “Remember, the test sites are just good locations for sampling; once they are found in the area, it’s generally accepted that they will be found across a wide area. Please remind everyone that they do not need to wait for results in their town. Once positive mosquitoes are found in the State, it’s reasonable to act as if they are in your backyard. The important message is: Protect yourselves from mosquito bites! Mosquitoes may carrier West Nile Virus or EEE, or they just might bite and cause discomfort. Extra precaution is warranted towards the end of summer because that’s when mosquitoes are at the stage of their life cycle where they are most likely to be capable of transmitting disease.” 

Additional information can be found by clicking here.

I will continue to monitor the EEE situation in Northeastern Connecticut and pass on the concerns of residents directly to NDDH, DPH, DEEP & CAES who are managing the response for the State of Connecticut.