By Ray Hardman
Last weekend’s cold snap has ended the threat of Eastern equine encephalitis for this year. That’s according to Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
“The weather is certainly cold enough now that the mosquito numbers have declined dramatically, and the risk of anyone being bitten by an infected mosquito is virtually zero at this point,” said Andreadis. “And we haven’t detected any further virus activity, in fact we stopped our surveillance program last week.”
Andreadis said this year’s EEE outbreak was unusual and probably due to migrating birds from the South that carried the virus to freshwater swamps in the Northeast.
“There’s one particular species of mosquito that develops in these swamps, and we know that that mosquito was the one that really drives the whole transmission cycle,” said Andreadis. “And when we have very high populations of that mosquito, that creates the kind of conditions that would be conducive for a rapid buildup of the virus.”
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