On Feb. 11, Gov. Malloy announced details about the state's cross-functional, cross-department coordination to respond to the Zika virus.
To ensure the safety of Connecticut residents, the governor and state agencies are proactively planning now for any contingencies that may arise.
"The more planning and preparation we do now, the more successful we'll be in our response, if needed, later. We've developed a road map for a coordinated response by state agencies to any potential threat posed by Zika," Governor Malloy said.
"We're working cross-functionally, across agencies, to ensure that we are being proactive and to ensure that we are as prepared as we possibly can be. It's our obligation to protect residents, and we will be ready with a coordinated response if it's required."
The Zika virus is spread to people predominantly through mosquito bites, and travelers to affected regions are at risk of contracting the virus primarily from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are found in tropical climates.
It’s our obligation to protect residents, and we will be ready with a coordinated response if it’s required.
For this reason, pregnant women in particular are advised to postpone travel to areas affected by Zika virus.
To date, no cases of Zika virus associated disease have been identified among Connecticut residents and the state does not have the mosquitos that carry the virus.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. However, one in five cases will show no symptoms. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Infection is thought to provide lifelong immunity.
Testing and Monitoring
The Department of Public Health, which will take the lead on Connecticut's response, is able to test for the virus here. Consequently, DPH will not have to send samples out of state, which will speed response time.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station will be monitoring our mosquito population across the state, with a network of 91 fixed mosquito-trapping stations located in 72 municipalities.
"In the months ahead, the Department of Public Health will work with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Mosquito Management program in a coordinated response to the Zika virus," DPH Acting Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said.
"We also will partner with local health and health care professionals to assist us in this effort."
Travelers can protect themselves from this and other mosquito borne diseases by taking simple steps to prevent bites. When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.