On Friday, an East Lyme resident died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, becoming the first fatality in Connecticut from the mosquito-borne illness in six years, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Health department officials also confirmed a second case of EEE in Old Lyme. That person is currently hospitalized.
“The identification of two Connecticut residents with EEE, one of whom has passed away, emphasizes the seriousness of this infection,” said DPH Commissioner Renée Coleman Mitchell in a press release. “Using insect repellent, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes continue to be active until the first heavy frost.”
Spraying ineffective, official says
Connecticut chose not to spray insecticides, unlike Massachusetts and Rhode Island where cases of EEE have also been found this year,
“We don’t know where we would really spray and things are beginning to wind down with just another two weeks in which mosquitoes will likely be active and biting,” said Theodore Andreadis, director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “We are recommending strongly that people avoid mosquito bites by staying indoors at dawn and dusk and if bitten removing themselves from the area. Don’t think about camping out there right now.”
Andreadis explained that the spraying of insecticides is not as effective as people often think.
“There are two options,” he said. “Larvacides, which are the more effective but can only be used in the spring, and adulticides which do not work all that well.”
DPH in conjunction with the Agricultural Experiment Station will continue with a public awareness campaign discouraging outdoor activity especially near marshes or other fresh water bodies at dawn or dusk until the first frost of the season.