The Connecticut Department of Public Health's State Mosquito Management Program has announced that mosquitoes in Bridgeport tested positive for WNV (West Nile Virus) on June 21st - the first cases identified by CAES (Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station) in 2011.
Theodore G. Andreadis, Ph.D., Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES, said:
"The detection of infected mosquitoes in June suggests early amplification of virus activity. With warming temperatures, the isolation of West Nile virus in mosquitoes can be expected to increase and expand to other areas of the state throughout the summer."
Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen, said:
"The finding by the CAES provides an early warning that the virus is circulating again this year in Connecticut. We encourage residents and visitors of Connecticut to take steps to prevent mosquito bites while spending time outdoors this holiday weekend and throughout the summer and early fall."
Connecticut authorities inform that last year WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 24 municipalities, the first being trapped on June 14th, 2010. Eleven people in the state were reported with WNV infections last year.
CAES has 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities. Traps are set on Monday and Thursday nights. Specimens are collected every ten days from each site on a rotating basis. Scientists say they pool (collect) the mosquitoes for testing according to date, collection site, and species.
The mosquitoes are tested for viruses that are of public health concern. Results are posted on the CAES website.
Tennessee - the state's Public Health Laboratory confirmed WNV in mosquitoes in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. State officials urge citizens to use repellants and take other precautions to prevent mosquito and other insect bites.
Abelardo C. Moncayo, PhD, director of the Vector-Borne Diseases program for the Tennessee Department of Health, said:
"These positive tests tell us that individuals bitten by mosquitoes in Tennessee could be at risk for contracting West Nile Virus. We can help control mosquito populations and lessen the risk of infection by emptying containers with standing water, keeping doors and windows screened, and wearing mosquito repellent when outside."
Authorities inform that Tennessee is the 10th state so far in 2011 to show positive tests for WNV in mosquitoes, horses or birds. Last year, Tennessee had four reported human cases of WNV infection. The record was in 2002, with 56 cases.
South Dakota - Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health, said:
"We do expect more mosquitoes this summer with so many areas affected by flooding. West Nile has already been detected in mosquitoes in neighboring states (Iowa and North Dakota) and the peak transmission period for the virus is approaching so now is the time to get in the habit of using insect repellent."
Officials in South Dakota inform that peak WNV transmission occurs from mid-July through mid-September. There have been over 1,700 human cases reported in the state since 2002, including 26 deaths.
Ohio - two mosquito pools in the City of Columbus tested positive for WNV.
Ohio Department of Health Director Ted Wymyslo, M.D.,said:
"Mosquitoes that transmit West Nile have arrived. To protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites be sure to use mosquito repellent and remove standing water from your property."
No human cases have been reported in the state so far. Ohio has had reported cases of human WNV infection every year since 2002. In 2002 there were 441 cases, 108 in 2003, 12 in 2004, 61 in 2005, 48 in 2006, 23 in 2007, 15 in 2008, 2 in 2009, and 5 last year.
According to the CDC's "2011 West Nile Virus Human Infections in the United States", up to June 28th there has been one human case of WNV infection, reported in Mississippi - a non-neuroinvasive disease case.
Written by Christian Nordqvist