No one looks forward to getting bitten by mosquitoes every summer. These terrible little pests usually aren't anything but an annoyance and a wonder as to 'when' they bit you as you scratch away at their bites. An additional concern for Southeastern Massachusetts mosquitoes is the Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection. The Bay State has the highest number of incidences in the last decade of any state, making it crucial to reduce mosquito bites as the best method for reducing risk of infection.
What Makes Eastern Equine Encephalitis Infection So Dangerous?
Also known as EEE, the Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection is something truly awful to experience. Though rare, it is extremely deadly in people, and there is no treatment for the virus. This infection can cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, meningitis, and brain inflammation. Many who survive the initial infection often suffer permanent health issues, especially neurological damage. If that wasn't bad enough, the mortality rate is gauged anywhere from 30 to 70%!
EEE Vaccine Research
Due to the severity of Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection, the Department of Defense has put nearly $15 million in grants towards the research of a therapeutic to prevent infection of EEE. The teams of scientists from the University of Pittsburgh, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Massachusetts General Hospital are working together to prevent three variants of this infection. These variants are Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, and Western equine encephalitis.
Their goal is to create a vaccine that would work to prevent all three encephalitis viruses.
Peak Outbreaks of the Virus
Massachusetts had the highest cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection in the US. Since 2011, the US has had 110 cases; of those, 47 people have lost their lives to this horrible disease. A majority of these infections happened in Massachusetts, with 26 confirmed infections. The next highest was Michigan with 18 infections, followed by Florida with 9. In 2019, there were 12 cases in Massachusetts, with 6 being fatal. In 2020, Massachusetts had five cases in which one was fatal.
For unexplained reasons, EEE was not present in 2021, but there is undoubtedly a concern for a spike at any point in time of this deadly disease, though there is hope that the cycle may be coming to a low point. With how hard-hit Massachusetts has been with EEE over the past decade, it is recommended that every precaution is taken to prevent future outbreaks.
EEE is typically transmitted from birds who have the virus. When a mosquito feeds from infected avian hosts, it incubates the virus for some time before it can pass that infection on to horses or humans. Usually, late summer is the beginning of mosquito-borne illness season. Learn more about this virus from our FAQ page about EEE.
Utilize Mosquito Control to Lower Your Risk
The best way to protect your family from the dangers of EEE is by practicing mosquito control. Begin by practicing the 7 T's of Mosquito Control. These seven tips on lowering the exposure in your yard and around your property can help decrease the number of unwelcome mosquitos buzzing about.
The 7 T's of Mosquito Control are:
Tip-over anything that may collect water, such as kids' playthings.
Toss dispose of yard waste.
Turn over large yard items such as unused sandboxes or wheelbarrows
Remove Tarps that aren't taut and may be retaining water.
Take Care clearing out gutters and emptying corrugated downspouts that may retain rainwater
Team Up with neighbors to increase the mosquito control measures around everyone’s homes.
Treat your yard by utilizing a professional mosquito control service.
For the last tip, "Treat," you can rely on the Mosquito Squad of Southern Massachusetts to help reduce the mosquito population around your yard. Contact us today to inquire about setting up a free consultation for your property. We can provide you with mosquito control services like our most popular Original Mosquito Barrier Treatment. With our barrier treatment, we can effectively reduce up to 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard for up to three weeks. Our licensed and trained technicians will treat your yard with a proven solution that will start working on contact.
It is crucial to deploy integrated pest management practices that include professional yard treatments, habitat management, and personal protection such as spray repellents and long pants/sleeves to reduce the risk of you or your family members being bitten by a mosquito that could transmit EEE. Be sure to follow our 7 T's of mosquito control explained above and contact us online or call us today at (774) 234-4611 for a free quote. We look forward to reducing the mosquitoes on your property.