Human Eastern Equine Encephalitis Can Be Deadly and Mosquitoes are the Culprits!

Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE is a disease, transmitted by mosquitoes, most often found in birds and horses. “Most often” means that it is rare in humans, however, it is possible and a family right here in Florida has found out first hand.

Debbie Casey, a healthy 68-year-old woman was moving into a new home when she fell down and wasn’t immediately able to get up. She wrote it off as stress but promised her son she would make an appointment with her doctor. However, she didn’t get the chance. The very next day her family found her unable to speak or move. After being airlifted to a hospital in Gainesville it took 10 days worth of testing for her to be diagnosed with EEE.

Facts About EEE in Humans

EEE causes swelling of the brain. While human infection is rare, one-third of those that do become infected are likely to die. Many of those that survive may have lifelong impairments of their cognitive and motor skills. The number of animals that have tested positive this year is higher than the average of the last 10 years.

So far 44 horses and 116 chickens tested positive in 31 Florida counties. Last year there were 3 human cases in the United States, 1 of which was in Florida. There is no specific treatment for EEE, the only treatment is for the symptoms.

Debbie Casey has been in a coma now for two months…

Casey was given several different types of medication before they diagnosed her with EEE, including anti-seizure medicine due to irregular activity in the brain, which they are still seeing.

All From a Mosquito Bite

Debbie’s son, Brian Casey, tells the Orlando Sentinel that doctors have warned him “it could take 6 months or more for her brain to recover from the shock of encephalitis.” Brian told the paper that he wanted to put a human face with this rare disease. Before he never thought about mosquito bites and the possible damage they can do. Now he always wears a mosquito repellent.

Debbie Casey is breathing on her own and out of ICU, but still in a coma. Her family waits for her to wake up. This mosquito-borne illness is dangerous and something not to be ignored no matter how rare.

At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we stress to you the importance of mosquito repellent. However repellents are sticky, smelly, and a bit of a pain so while a necessary evil at times they aren’t something you want to deal with at home. Well, you don’t have to. Let Mosquito Squad’s barrier treatment eliminate mosquitoes for you… in the yard, not on your skin. Don’t take the risk. Nothing is worth the permanent damage EEE can cause. Call us today to schedule your treatment. 

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