Eastern equine encephalitis is an illness that is spread by mosquitoes. It’s also an illness that is almost unheard of in the United States. However, the third person has recently died from complications of this illness since the beginning of the year. A 50-year-old in Rhode Island passed away on September 9, making it the first death related to EEE since 2007, reports gizmodo.com. This is also the first case involving a person since 2010. Rhode Island health officials announced that the person tested positive for EEE only nine days before the person died.
The death is the second one in the country within a week, raising awareness across the country that precautions need to be taken. The other two deaths that have been reported have been in Massachusetts and Michigan. There are usually about 10 people who contract EEE each year, but there are only about 30% of those people who die as a result of the complications associated with the disease. Most of the time, medical treatments can help with a full recovery.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made recent announcements about the signs and symptoms that you can look for if you have been bitten by a mosquito and believe that you might have EEE. Most symptoms will appear about five days after the bite occurs. You might feel as though you have the flu with chills, a fever, and aching joints. If left untreated in its early stages, EEE can lead to brain swelling that often results in death. Sometimes, paralysis can occur as well as seizure activity. There have been horses and mosquitoes identified in Rhode Island and other states in the northeast area of the country that have EEE. Some states have asked residents not to go outside in the evening as a way to try to prevent people from being bitten by mosquitoes.