Third person lost life to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Connecticut while the fourth patient is still in the hospital. Although the Health officials don’t want people to panic on this news but these deaths by lethal EEE virus is causing panic in all US citizens.
The health officials are sure that the threat of EEE is now lower than it was two weeks ago. The peak breeding period for mosquitos is almost over so people don’t need to worry about it. However, there is still no news about implementing widespread pesticide sprays in the state.
The outbreak of EEE this year is unprecedented
Till the date, many cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) infection in 17 cities and towns of the USA. Most of these areas are at the southeast corner of the state.
Talking about the latest death, the third patient was a man in his 60’s, showing symptoms in the second week of September this year. On the other side, the fourth person who is from Colchester and is in his 40s showed symptoms in Late August. He is currently under observation and remains in hospital. Before that, the first two cases of EEE were from the East Haddam/Colchester area of the state.
The incidence of EEE virus this year is surprising for healthcare experts. This is probably the highest number of patients in the mosquito season. People from the areas of these patients are scared of EEE and they don’t prefer going outside in dark for the same reason.
Incidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in USA
The monitoring of this virus started 15 years ago. Till October 1st, there are total 31 cases reported by the CDC this year. Among these 31 cases, 9 people lost their lives and 80% of the positive patients are left with neurological damage. This is a significantly rare disease and there are only 103 cases of EEE infection in the USA in the last ten years.
It’s not like everyone who comes into contact with infected mosquito gets the disease. Only 5% of the people develop this infection and on average 1/3rd of these people lose their life. The rest live with permanent neurological damage for life. The common symptoms include fever, body pains, headache, chills, etc. It takes some time for the virus to reach the central nervous system (CNS). Once it makes it way to CNS, it triggers encephalitis, or in simple words, swelling of the brain and spine.
Unfortunately, there is not much information on these mosquito-borne diseases. There is probably no way to foresee an outbreak for the future. Also, there is no cure for EEE virus till the date. The doctors are only able to treat the symptoms and boost immunity to fight against the infection naturally.
The only way to prevent EEE infection is to avoid contact with an infected mosquito. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest to use insect repellents during this season and wearing long sleeves and pants. Avoid direct contact with mosquitos and consider pesticide spray especially around lakes, swamps, dumping sites or standing water.