West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are both mosquito-borne illnesses and they have made themselves a seasonal presence in Massachusetts. In fact, Catherine Brown, the state’s epidemiologist, recently decided that the public health council needed an update on these specific illnesses because they are a particular threat to local citizens.
August and September are when WNV and EEE are most active in South Shore and Fall River as well as all over the state. The first cases of WNV in mosquitoes were found here in late June.
Knowing what you are looking for and protecting against makes the fight against disease easier.
Here are some facts about WNV and EEE to keep in mind.
West Nile Virus (WNV) was first discovered in 1999. While there is no treatment most people recover on their own. The basic symptoms are fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting, and rash, but most people won’t have symptoms at all. However, few cases can lead to encephalitis and meningitis, swelling of the brain or spinal cord. Of those cases, 10% will die. Between 2000 and 2010, 67 people in Massachusetts contracted WNV and 6 of those people died. WNV is common in urban areas and stagnant water plays a factor in that. The heat and rain this year makes it likely that WNV could be a problem.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was first discovered in Massachusetts in 1938. Between 2000 and 2016 there have been 26 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts. Mosquitoes contract EEE from infected birds and they then spread it on to humans. No treatment exists. Symptoms begin with a spiked fever, headache, stiff neck, and lack of energy. After a few days swelling of the brain can occur. Progression of EEE is quick and some can be in a coma within a week. Half of all those diagnosed in Massachusetts have died. Most that survive become permanently disabled. Few people recover from EEE.
Protection Start with Mosquito Bite Prevention
There are 51 types of mosquitoes living in Massachusetts. Not all carry disease, but all females can bite and it’s unlikely that you will be able to tell what type of mosquito is biting you at the time. With mosquito-disease possible every year and these diseases carrying the possibility of death, you can’t choose to deal with the annoyance and be safe. You must protect yourself from mosquito bites.
When you are out, the state public health website suggests using repellents such as DEET and permethrin. Also, wear sleeves and long pants and avoid being out at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their worst.
At home be sure to check screens for holes and windows for gaps so that mosquitoes don’t end up in your house. Control standing water outside as well, since this creates the best breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Mosquito Squad in Fall River and the South Shore want to help protect you and your family as well. Our mosquito barrier treatment eliminates 85-90% mosquitoes on your property. The time-released formula continues to work for up to three weeks. Don’t take unnecessary risks when it comes to mosquito and tick-borne illnesses. Use Mosquito Squad’s services and take the risk out of your living spaces. Call us today.
Keep an eye on mosquitoresults.com for the latest local information.