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Eastern equine encephalitis

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CT Mosquito Management Program

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that grows in birds that live in fresh water swamps.The virus is generally found only in these birds and in mosquitoes that usually bite these birds but do not bite people. Human EEEV cases occur relatively infrequently, largely because the primary transmission cycle takes place in and around swampy areas where human populations tend to be limited. However, sometimes the virus gets picked up by other types of mosquitoes that bite other birds, animals, and people. The virus is then spread by the bite of this other infected mosquito, to humans. EEE is not spread directly from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms of EEE?

Early symptoms include high fever (103° - 106°F), stiff neck, severe headache, and lack of energy. The disease worsens quickly and some patients go into a coma within a week. Encephalitis (swelling of the brain) is the most dangerous symptom. The Symptoms can appear anywhere from 3 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

What is the treatment for EEE?

There is no cure for EEE. Three of every ten people who get the disease will die from it.

How can EEE be prevented?

The only way to protect yourself is to keep mosquitoes from biting you.

  • If you are outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Consider using insect repellent, according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all doors and windows.
  • Do not let stagnant water collect around your home. Mosquitoes can breed in water that collects in ditches, clogged gutters, old tires, wheelbarrows, or wading pools.
  • Do not camp overnight near freshwater swamps.
  • Use mosquito netting on tents.

About NCDHD

The North Central District Health Department is a full-time Public Health Department with a full-time staff funded by its member towns and a annual per capita grant from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health

Our Mission is to prevent disease, injury, and disability by promoting and protecting the health and well-being of the public and our environment.

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