October 16, 2019

Another Update on EEE From Old Lyme First Selectwoman Reemsnyder

As was announced on Friday by Ledge Light Health District, the Dept. of Agriculture trapped mosquitoes in Lyme and Old Lyme which ultimately tested positive for the Triple E virus. Many of the mosquitoes were the bird-biting mosquitoes, but some were mammalian-biting mosquitoes – thus the risk to humans.

This week, on a conference call with the Dept. of Public Health (DPH), the Dept. of Agriculture, local officials, and state legislators, the experts who are dealing with this crisis provided some additional information on the timeline of the cases that have been confirmed, which now numbers four in the State of CT, three of which have been fatal.

Each of these cases are believed to be from mosquito bites in early September or late August, as the onset of the symptoms takes up to 10 days, and the delay in confirmation adds to that time.

The DPH still believes that ground spraying is not effective considering the time of year, as the population of mosquitos is declining due to the cool nights.

With that said, some of the state legislators on the call requested that DPH work with the Governor’s office to identify resources for spraying, should it become necessary, as not all towns have resources to provide spraying. There was discussion about the need for spraying next year, in case there are more positive results on mosquitos at that time.

Considering the recommendation, the Town of Old Lyme will not be doing any spraying, but will stay informed on this issue.

As recommended by Ledge Light Health District, here are best practices for avoiding mosquito bites:

  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • While outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
  • Use mosquito netting if sleeping outdoors.
  • Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use them according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is also effective for brief periods of exposure.
  • When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately 2 hours and 20% for 4 hours)  and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than 2 months.

Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

  • Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings, clogged gutters.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
  • Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.

Additional resources for information on EEE and mosquito management can be found at [ http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/site/default.asp ]http://www.ct.gov/mosquito…

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