The Health Department summarizes mosquito testing results and reports of human and animal illnesses every week during the summer and early fall, and compiles data each year in an annual surveillance report.
As understanding of and guidance about preventing the Zika virus emerged, the Health Department has worked to protect the health of Vermonters, especially Vermonters who are traveling to warmer regions.
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus and spread by infected mosquitoes. The disease most commonly affects people and horses.
West Nile virus has been has been found in all counties of Vermont and continues to be detected in mosquitoes each year – another reason to take precautions against mosquito bites.
The mosquito that transmits Zika is not known to be present in Vermont. But travelers to Zika-affected countries can be infected, and the virus can be spread during sex with a Zika-infected sex partner.
Responding to climate change will benefit health now.
Mosquitoes can be a major annoyance during warmer months in Vermont and can occasionally transmit serious diseases. West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in every county of Vermont and typically infects three or fewer Vermonters each year. Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has also been detected in Vermont and caused two deaths in Rutland County in 2011.
Climate change is expected to affect mosquito-borne diseases in two ways: