Easten Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
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About Easten Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
astern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year.
From 2004 through 2013, Eastern equine encephalitis virus neuroinvasive disease cases have been reported in Alabama (4), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (1), Florida (15), Georgia (4), Louisiana (3), Massachusetts (24), Michigan (3), Missouri (1), New Hampshire (9), New York (3), North Carolina (7), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (2), Vermont (2), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1).
Infection has an abrupt onset and is characterized by chills, fever, malaise, arthralgia, and myalgia. The illness lasts 1 to 2 weeks, and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement. In infants, the encephalitic form is characterized by abrupt onset; in older children and adults, encephalitis is manifested after a few days of systemic illness. Signs and symptoms in encephalitic patients are fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma.
Approximately a third of all people with EEE die from the disease. Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after onset of symptoms but can occur much later. Of those who recover, many are left with disabling and progressive mental and physical sequelae, which include can range from minimal brain dysfunction to severe intellectual impairment, personality disorders, seizures, paralysis, and cranial nerve dysfunction. Many patients with severe sequelae die within a few years.
Easten Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Prevention
There is no vaccine against Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) for humans. Reducing exposure to mosquitoes is the best defense against infection with EEEV and other mosquito-borne viruses. There are several approaches you and your family can use to prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases.
- Use repellent: When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.
- Wear protective clothing: Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
- Install and repair screens: Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs near you: Mosquitoes can lay eggs even in small amounts of standing water. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and tires. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Empty children's wading pools and store on their side after use.
Read more about Easten Equine Encephalitis (EEE) at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Website