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Gov. Dan Malloy's Plan B Budget Would Cut West Nile Mosquito Testing In Connecticut

HARTFORD, CT (CBSNewYork / AP) - Summer is just over a month away and something to help keep us safe from mosquito-borne illness could be nixed.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau: The Virus Is Often Deadly


Under Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy's drastic plan B budget, testing for West Nile Virus would be eliminated.

The state's Agricultural Experiment Station would receive no funding and thus would be eliminated.

Chief Entomologist Dr. Theodore Andreadis says this would come just as testing for the often deadly virus is scheduled to get underway.

"We would not have a surveillance program, there is not an agency in the state that would have the capacity to trap and test mosquitoes as we currently do," says Andreadis. "If the experiment station were shut down, we would not have any mosquito surveillance program of any type going on in the state of Connecticut."

He says the state recently lost $500,000 in congressional funding for his program and another $200,000 in funding from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Andreadis says he anticipates West Nile Virus will resurface this summer as it does every single year especially with the wet spring we've had.

There were 10 human cases of West Nile virus in Connecticut last year. There have been 79 human cases and three deaths from West Nile in the state since it was first found in the United States in 1999.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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