EEE Mosquito Virus Could Return to Connecticut This Summer
Can you say disease fatigue? We all know 2020 has been the year from hell so far, and now there's a good chance that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis mosquito virus may return to area's of Connecticut this summer and fall.
Remember last year when we first heard about the EEE virus, and people throughout the state were warned about being outside in the early evening, when mosquitos are more prevalent? People were also warned about early evening walks, and school activities and games were moved to an earlier start time. Well, it looks like that virus will rear it's ugly head again this summer and fall.
It's just what we need during the COVID-19 pandemic, another virus that doesn't have a cure.
The EEE virus is a rare but severe mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling, and we saw a surprise rise in cases last year in the Northeast in states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
The timing of this virus couldn't be worse. As the coronavirus pandemic slows down a bit in Connecticut, the last thing we need is another virus.
Public health officials in Massachusetts have already detected the EEE virus in mosquitos this year, it's the earliest on record due to the warmer than normal winter we had. The good news is that so far there haven't been any human or animal cases reported yet.
Health officials told fox61.com that the mosquitos that carry this virus usually come around in two to three year cycles, but they also say that these type of mosquito borne diseases are very hard to predict.
Last year, there were 38 human cases reported compared to most years when there's usually only about six , and in Massachusetts alone, there were 12 cases and 6 deaths reported according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Connecticut, officials at the State Department of Environmental Science have boosted the number of testing sites, especially in higher risk eastern areas of the state.
With social distancing from COVID-19, more people are heading to outdoor parks, and taking more walks and hikes. The CDC advises people who will be outside to avoid the evening and early morning hours when mosquitoes are most active, use bug spray and wear long clothing where possible when outdoors.
For more information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.