HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut public health officials announced Tuesday that a third person has died of Eastern equine encephalitis.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter said the East Haddam resident died during the third week of September. It was confirmed Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the unnamed person had tested positive for the rare mosquito-borne illness.
The victim is between the ages of 60 and 69 years.
The CDC also confirmed Tuesday that a resident of Colchester who became ill during the third week of August tested positive for the virus. That person, who is between the ages of 40 and 49 years, remains hospitalized. Cartter says the number of human cases in Connecticut has been unprecedented.
Mosquitoes examined in 16 communities have so far tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis.
Last week, a bipartisan group of state legislators, including some representing communities where infected mosquitoes have been found, urged Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont to consider the aerial spraying of pesticides in heavily impacted areas. The request came days after the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner said such spraying wasn't warranted given the declining number of mosquitoes as cold weather approaches.
A DEEP spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday there are still no plans to implement widespread spraying, explaining it would "likely be ineffective because of the decline in mosquito populations" at this time of year.