CT combating EEE before possible 2020 outbreak

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The state is now preparing for a possible spike in EEE come late summer. 

Scientists said if the conditions are right, we can see a re-emergence of the deadly virus.

Connecticut scientists at the Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven are studying mosquitoes daily and trapping them in areas around the state, especially in eastern Connecticut where they’re known to thrive. 

In 2019, scientists saw an exceptionally high number of mosquitoes carrying the rare, yet deadly virus. 

To get ahead of a possible spike in cases, the state just invested $100,000 to open 16 new trapping sites in high-risk areas to study them. 

“We have a network of trapping stations all over the state where we are monitoring mosquitoes, not just for EEE, but for West Nile virus too,” said Philip Armstrong, a scientist with the Agriculture Experiment Station.

Unlike the novel coronavirus, scientists said EEE has lingering effects on all age groups.

According to scientists, about a third of hospitalized cases die from the infection.

Here are the state’s mosquitoes management programs recommendations to protect yourself: 

  • 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. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Consider the use of mosquito repellent 

“The number of human infections are extremely rare, but like I say, if the conditions are right, we could have a reemergence this year so we want to be on top of that,” Armstrong said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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