On August 29, 2019 Massachusetts State Public Health Officials confirmed four cases of EEE in Massachusetts. Twenty-eight communities now have their risk level raised to critical as a result.
“Today’s news is evidence of the significant risk from EEE and we are asking residents to take this risk very seriously,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We will continue to monitor this situation and the impacted communities.”
Here are a few facts and information you should know about Eastern Equine Encephalitis:
What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)?
EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEE virus (EEEV) is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). In the United States, approximately 5-10 EEE cases are reported annually. (CDC.gov) So far this year four people have been confirmed with the disease in Massachusetts alone.
How do people get Eastern Equine Encephalitis?
EEEV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease can’t be transmitted from person to person. Horses are susceptible to EEEV infection as well and can be fatal, but do not pose a serious threat to humans because they are considered "dead-end" hosts similar to humans. (CDC.gov)
What is the life cycle of EEE?
The most common way mosquitoes become infected is through an avian host such as a bird. Originally the bird becomes infected by a mosquito breed called Culiseta Melanura. The Culiseta Melanura feeds almost exclusively on birds so they are not a threat to us thankfully. However, mosquito breeds that bite humans and birds such as Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex will become infected when feeding on these infected birds which creates a bridge. (CDC.gov)
What are the symptoms of EEE?
Severe cases of EEEV infection (EEE, involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures and coma. Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.(CDC.gov)
How can I protect myself from EEE?
- Apply insect repellent when outdoors. We suggest using all natural repellent and making sure you follow the guidelines on the labels, especially for children.
- Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn; by limiting your outdoor activities during these hours you can reduce your chances of getting bit.
- Cover exposed skin. Consider wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.
- Remove standing water around the home. You may know that mosquitoes need water to breed, but some mosquitoes need just a FEW inches of water to breed. This is why it's so important to be mindful of places like birdbaths, kids toys, and roof gutters that make for perfect breeding grounds.
- Check all the window/door screens in your home. Repair any holes or adjust screen to ensure they fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out.
- Treat your property with an effective, natural mosquito control solution to help proactively eliminate mosquito populations from around your home.
At Pure Solutions we offer an all natural yard treatment that kills mosquitoes on contact and builds up a residual barrier over time to deter them from coming back. Our products are safer for use around children, pets and the natural environment. With over 10 years experience servicing properties throughout Massachusetts with effective mosquito control, our mosquito repellent property sprays are proven and effective.
By utilizing services and products from Pure Solutions, as well as embracing the other points above, you can be assured that you are taking proactive steps in reducing any potential exposure to the EEE virus.