Mosquito-Spread Eastern Equine Encephalitis Sees Outbreak in Parts of Northeast USA

A minimum of seven people have died after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a rare disease carried by mosquitoes, bringing number of total people affected to 27 in six states.

As the waining days of summer rears its head, let’s be aware about some of the risks.

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

EEE belongs to a category of viruses known as arboviruses, or arthropod-borne viruses. Arboviruses are spread by the bites of blood-sucking insects, such as mosquitos and ticks. EEE is spread by the bite of certain kinds of mosquitoes.

Symptoms of EEE generally occur four to 10 days after a person has been infected and include:

  • high fever
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • neck stiffness

EEE is rare, occurring only around five to 10 people annually according stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The mortality rate is about 30%, and many who recover continue to have neurological problems.

Connecticut and Massachusetts

The latest deaths were reported in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with officials in Massachusetts saying there are now 75 communities at critical or high risk.

Residents in impacted regions are being advised to consider curtailing outdoor events early or late in the day. These are times when mosquitoes feed most heavily. Using insect repellent wherever it is unseasonably warm is also strongly recommended.

So until colder weather rears its head, please be extra cautious!

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