Rare, Deadly Virus Found In Connecticut Mosquitoes

Sean Adams
September 12, 2019 - 10:03 am
Mosquito testing

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

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SHELTON, Conn. (WCBS 880) -- Residents are taking precautions after a deadly brain-swelling virus was found in Connecticut mosquitoes.

Human infection is rare, but when Eastern Equine Encephalitis takes hold, the virus can kill. Typically one third of patients die. 

The virus causes brain swelling and can leave a person with neurological impairment. 

Mosquitoes have tested positive in 12 Connecticut towns, for the most part to the southeast, but Shelton makes the list and that's not all that far from Bridgeport and New Haven. 

Mosquitoes like wetlands and Shelton is on the Housatonic River.

The Connecticut  health department is urging people to avoid outdoor activity dusk to dawn, cover up, use mosquito repellent and stay away from marshes and swamps.

Residents are taking heed.

"I wear bug spray, I mean it's about all I can do really," one man said.

Horses have been infected in two towns, but no human cases have been reported in Connecticut.

One person has been infected and is now recovering in New Jersey, where Eastern Equine Encephalitis has turned up in mosquitoes in 11 counties. 

Meanwhile, New York City reported its first human cases of West Nile virus — two from Queens, one from Staten Island and one from Brooklyn.