Recently, there has been a great deal of media and public attention given to eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV), two important mosquito-borne diseases.
When West Nile virus first appeared in New England, it was noted that crows (and several other bird species) were very susceptible to the virus. For several years, the Connecticut Department of Public Health operated a testing program wherein dead birds located by residents were collected by local health departments and tested for West Nile virus by the State Health Department. The purpose of the program was to determine where the disease was spreading. At this point, West Nile virus has spread throughout the state and so the program has been discontinued.
During the breeding season, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station collects mosquitoes from a trap site in Madison (and from numerous other sites in the state) and analyzes these mosquito pools for the presence of WNV and EEE. The station issues regular press releases with the test results.