Senator Needleman Praises Finance Advisory Committee for Approving Funding to Support Extended Mosquito Trapping, Fighting EEE


Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) praised the Finance Advisory Committee for its approval of a transfer of funds within the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. This funding transfer will allow the state to set up 15 new mosquito trapping, surveillance and testing locations in the state, creating a new level of protection against mosquito-borne illnesses in Eastern Connecticut, specifically Eastern Equine Encephalitis, more commonly known as EEE.

In 2019, an outbreak of EEE in many states including Connecticut significantly impacted local communities. At least 28 communities in Connecticut experienced confirmed detection of the disease. In the state, three people died, another was sickened, and the ripple effects of the disease's spread caused disruptions including school sports program cancellations and cancellations of outdoor activities. These new testing locations will reduce the risk of EEE to the general public this year; they provide an early warning system, an expanded net of testing sites and access to more information all at once.

"This funding for mosquito testing can be seen as a parallel to the response to COVID-19. We've seen expanded testing and seeking as much information about a disease can help prevent future outbreaks," said Sen. Needleman. "After significant disruption of our daily lives last year due to fear of EEE, I welcome this expansion of testing, which will bring the state's testing site capacity to more than 100 locations. This funding is partially due to bipartisan lobbying, and I thank my fellow Senators Cathy Osten and Paul Formica who joined me to advocate for increased testing."

According to the Finance Advisory Committee's agenda for its June 4 meeting, a total of $100,000 will be administered to achieve these testing goals. The majority of new testing locations will be added in Eastern Connecticut, with specific focus on the lower Connecticut River Valley, where several fatal cases of equine infection were seen last year.

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