EEE is the acronym for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. As the name suggests, horses are most at risk for becoming infected. Although rare in humans, it can cause permanent disabilities. If infected, one in three of us will succumb to it. People under 15 years of age and over 50 are most at risk for serious infections.
EEE is a mosquito-borne virus and is transmitted by a mosquito species found usually in freshwater hardwood swamps. Mosquitoes are infected with the virus when they bite infected birds for their blood meal. We are at risk for contracting the infection if the mosquito species that bites us is infected.
According to a story posted on Tech Times, on July 18, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) detected mosquitoes with EEE in Plymouth County. Health officials are now on the alert. The towns of Easton, Middleborough, Raynham and West Bridgewater were already raised to a moderate risk level earlier this year, based on last year’s EEE activity in their areas.
The Massachusetts DPH reports no cases of West Nile Virus or EEE so far this year. One case of EEE was reported in 2013. The Department of Public Health reported 7 confirmed human cases of EEE in 2012 with 3 deaths because of the disease. In an EEE report, the Department reported the greatest risk of contracting EEE is from late July through September. Use caution when outdoors during high mosquito activity times between dusk and dawn is advised. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to reduce your exposure to EEE and any mosquito-borne virus, including West Nile Virus.
Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham provides a perimeter spray that eliminates 85-90% of the mosquitoes around your home. Sprayed every three weeks, homeowners can enjoy their yard with more peace of mind knowing their risk of mosquito-borne infections has been significantly reduced. This same barrier spray also eliminates ticks in your yard – another one of summer’s infectious insects.
Symptoms of EEE usually occur within 4 to 10 days of an infectious mosquito bite. In infants, symptoms can occur very suddenly. Chills, fever, arthritic-like symptoms, a stiff neck and headaches are some of the symptoms you may experience with an EEE infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our physician immediately. Unfortunately, many of these “flu-like” symptoms are common with mosquito and tick-borne infections. Talking with your doctor, who may order a blood test, will give you the peace of mind you need.
Give us a call to call to sign up for your Central MA summer-long mosquito and tick protection.