Message on EEE & Mosquitos

Message from the Superintendent on EEE & Mosquitos
Posted on 10/04/2019
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Dear Norwalk Families,

As you may know, health departments across Connecticut have been monitoring the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus that is carried through mosquito bites. Cases involving people infected by EEE have been limited to other parts of the state. However, the State confirmed yesterday that a mosquito trapped in Stamford has tested positive for EEE.  

With this in mind, we contacted the Norwalk Health Department for information and guidance. Below are some additional facts on EEE from the Norwalk Health Department and the State Department of Public Health:

  • In the western half of Connecticut, the risk of becoming ill as a result of being bitten by a mosquito infected with EEE virus is close to zero. 
  • To date, no mosquitos with EEE have been found in Norwalk.
  • Mosquito activity is reduced by cooler weather, and according to the State, is already declining for the season. The forecast is for cooler weather to arrive by this weekend, but the risk of EEE or WNV will not be gone until the first hard frost.
  • The best way to prevent infection from EEE is to prevent mosquito bites.

At this point, there is no recommendation that evening events be cancelled in areas where EEE has not been found.  However, the Norwalk Health Department recommends that everyone take standard protective measures to prevent mosquito bites, just as people have been doing to prevent West Nile virus infection, including:

  • Wearing clothes that cover skin, including socks, long sleeves and long pants. Light colored clothing is preferable and should fit close to the skin.
  • Precautions at dusk are particularly important, as that is when mosquitos are most active.
  • Using insect repellent: When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients:
    • DEET
    • Picaridin
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone

Coaches and teachers will reinforce preventative measures with our students, and we ask that families do the same at home.  

We will continue to monitor the issue in case anything changes, working with our partners at the Norwalk Health Department. Our Athletic Directors are also in close contact with their colleagues throughout Fairfield County. If there are any new information, we will let you know promptly. 

The Connecticut State Department of Public Health has more information on EEE on their website, available here: Dept of Public Health EEE.

Thank you for your support.

Steven Adamowski, PhD

Superintendent of Schools