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Connecticut Begins Yearly West Nile, EEE Tests In Mosquitoes

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Scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station have begun their annual mosquito monitoring and testing program for mosquito-borne viral diseases.

Philip Armstrong is a research scientist at the station. He said it’s too soon to know if this year will be a good or bad one for West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

“West Nile Virus fluctuates a lot from year to year as does EEE virus. But what I can say is the long-term trend, at least for EEE virus is we’re seeing greater levels of virus activity in more recent years. We had the largest outbreak of EEE virus in the country in 50 years in 2019," Armstrong said.

Armstrong said in 2019, the number of confirmed human cases of EEE rose to 38 in the U.S. with 4 cases occurring in Connecticut. Three of those were fatalities.

He said they are also watching out for new species of mosquitoes that could bring other viruses.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.