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CT towns taking precautions to protect the public from EEE, some think too extreme

New London

Conn. (WTNH) — The mosquito-borne virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, is a potentially-deadly disease, but some wonder if the precautions being taken are too extreme.

Recently, towns across the state have postponed evening sporting events and activities in an effort to keep the public safe from EEE-carrying mosquitoes.

News 8’s Tina Detelj takes a closer look at why people need to be on alert:

Concerns over Eastern Equine Encephalitis are no walk in the park for Jessica Sypher of Westbrook who now uses her lunch hour to get in some exercise in Essex.

“Absolutely I have concerns and I will curtail my evening activities,” said Sypher.

Many schools, including Valley Regional High School in Deep River, are curtailing outdoor activities in order to avoid having students outside at dusk when human-biting mosquitoes are most active.

“A third of the people die, so it’s not to be taken lightly, and you can’t imagine if one of the children in the schools got bitten by an EEE-positive bug and died because we didn’t take proper precautions,” said Essex mother of four Kelly Angelini.

At Valley Regional, it appears it is the JV girls soccer games and JV girls field hockey games which are most affected and may have to be rescheduled.

Some parents have expressed concerns about the schedule changes and wonder whether or not they’re necessary.

“Yeah I think there’s a mix opinion,” said Angelini. “I mean I have four children so we juggle quite a rigorous schedule so when you reschedule a game it’s rescheduling work and it’s rescheduling things as well.”
The state continues to trap and test mosquitoes every day.

“In that Madison, Killingworth, Haddam area we haven’t detected any additional infected mosquitoes for several weeks,” said Ted Andreadis, Director of the CT Agricultural Experiment Station.

But people shouldn’t let their guard down because the state believes infected mosquitoes are flying around. Some are still being trapped in the far east end of the state. In fact, in addition to the first human case in East Lyme and several horse cases, there is now a flock of pheasants affected in North Stonington.

“Often times what happens is you’ll get transmission from bird to bird as they have a tendency to peck at one another and then you’re going to have an entire flock that is going to succumb to this virus,” explained Andreadis.

The state expects to continue to monitor the threat through October. 

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