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Zika Added To State Mosquito Test Lineup Along With West Nile, EEE

Connecticut mosquito will begin testing for the Zika virus along with the West Nile virus and the EEE virus.
Connecticut mosquito will begin testing for the Zika virus along with the West Nile virus and the EEE virus. Photo Credit: Tina Traster

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- To make sure that all bases are covered when it comes to controlling the Zika virus, the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program has added Zika testing along with the West Nile virus and the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.

The program monitors the types, numbers and locations of mosquitoes and tests them for the presence of viruses that can cause illness including West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE). In addition, mosquitoes will be tested for Zika virus. The first test results will be available June 6.

"With regard to Zika virus, our overriding goal will be to prevent the establishment of the virus in the State, in the unlikely event that we detect Zika in local mosquito populations," said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

As of May 24, the state has reported seven patients who tested positive for Zika virus. The latest positive result was from a non-pregnant female who had recently returned from Puerto Rico. All seven patients have since recovered.

"It is important to remember that currently the threat of Zika virus infections among Connecticut residents is the result of travel to Zika-affected areas and sexual transmission from infected men to their partners," said Dr. Raul Pino, commissioner, Department of Public Health. "While we do not at this time anticipate much local mosquito transmission of Zika this season, we will be vigilantly monitoring our local mosquito populations and working with our municipal partners to engage communities and citizens in taking common sense steps to help reduce mosquito populations."

Zika commonly causes fever, rash, conjunctivitis or other mild symptoms and rarely a neurological illness (Guillain-Barré syndrome) among infected people. It can also cause serious birth defects when a woman is infected during pregnancy. The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) is the primary mosquito species involved in the Latin American epidemic and does not occur in Connecticut.

For more information on Zika virus, please visit www.ct.gov/zika .

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