Symptoms of EEE – Protect Yourself From EEE Infected Mosquitos

EEE symptomsSummer is around the corner and so are mosquitoes infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, better known as EEE. If you live on the United State’s East Coast then you have no doubt heard of EEE which is now considered to be the most serious mosquito-born disease in the United States. But who is really at risk and how can you protect yourself?

If you are anything like me, anytime you get bit by a mosquito you have without a doubt been infected with EEE. In the good old days I used to just get a touch of the West Nile Virus. AHHH the good old days. With maps of infected areas being broadcast on the evening news how am I supposed to ease my overactive imagination this summer? With facts and figures of course.

The number of confirmed EEE cases in the United States from 1964-2004 was 220. That’s enough to make you wet the bed at night. That averages out to be just 5 confirmed cases per year of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. What makes those figures even better is that not all of the confirmed cases of EEE were in humans. Horses and birds are also victims of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. There is actually a vaccine available to protect equines. Well, that’s great for the horses but what about me? I am not a horse, I am a girl.

Since there is no vaccine for EEE available to humans we have to avoid coming in contact with a mosquito infected with EEE. You may say “mosquitoes are everywhere, how can I avoid them?”. Well you are right, mosquitoes are everywhere but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of one of those mosquitoes sucking you dry.

How To Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Reduce the amount of exposed skin by wearing long sleeves or long pants when weather permits
  • Use extra caution during peak mosquito hours – dusk till dawn
  • Clear your yard of mosquito breading spots – anything that will allow standing water to accumulate
  • Make sure all of your screens are free of rips or larger holes that would allow mosquitoes to enter your home

If you are in a region that is known to have cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis such as Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Jersey you should definitely be taking the above precautions to avoid EEE. If you have followed the above precautions and you still got bit, here are a few signs to look for that will give you an inkling that you are about to die.

Symptoms of EEE

  • Mild flu-like symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Sudden fever
  • Severe headache
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Symptoms of EEE usually occur between 4 and 10 days after being bitten with an infected mosquito. Sadly about half of the patients infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis will die from this virus and those who do not die usually have brain damage that will require institutionalized care for the remainder of their life.

Taking into consideration the outcome for patients infected with EEE, treating the virus IS NOT an option. Avoiding mosquito bites is the only way to have a positive outcome in regards to Easter Equine Encephalitis. Do not get bit by a mosquito this year and you won’t have to worry about dying from EEE. It’s simple.

7 thoughts on “Symptoms of EEE – Protect Yourself From EEE Infected Mosquitos

  1. I am quite upset at this article. I feel it makes light of a very serious situation.
    EEE is a mosquito born illness with often eadly results. The CDC statistics sy it is a 30% mortality (death rate) but in examining long term data, yes, it is more like 50% of the people infected by a EEE mosquito will die. And these people may be the lucky ones. Many people inflicted with the mosquito bite, suffer high feavers, brain swelling, coma, and serious neurological brain damage. This damage can be permanent. There is no cure, and there is no shot, to protect yurself. The only thing you can do is protect yourself and your family by encouraging everyone to use mosquito repellent with DEET. Avoid outside activities at dusk and dawn, when the mosquito’s are most active, but EEE can be day biters as well. Do not take this threat lightly. I know first hand what EEE can do to the brain as my good friend now lives in a nursing home, unable to talk, walk, eat, or dress herself. It is an appaling thought that she will live like this for the rest of her life. Disabled, and totally dependent on other for care BECAUSE OF A MOSQUITO.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your good friend but I fail to understand what exactly in this article made light of EEE.

    I went into great detail about how to protect yourself against mosquito bites and also how to clear your yard of mosquito breeding spots.

    If you want to be upset about the article because it really hit home for you and reminded you of your friends unfortunate contraction of the disease…that I can understand. But don’t say that you are upset because we made light of the subject, it’s just not true.

  3. Triple E is definitely not something we should take lightly but there’s nothing wrong I see with putting a bit of a humor spin on it for people to become aware and remember the potential dangers.

  4. Hi Erin,
    Your numbers about EEE are incorrect.. West Nile Virus should be mentioned in your article.
    It was a good attempt to get the prevention message out.
    MA has just tested positive again in 07 in a low MIR in the city of Rayham.

  5. I’m not sure which numbers you are referring to. I appreciate your suggestion that West Nile should be mentioned in the article…but the article is about EEE not West Nile. I understand that there are new cases reported but the numbers that were available to me when doing the research were statistics between 1964 and 2004. Thanks for the info though.

  6. I know this is just an article and I understand that you are making light of a situation, but on a serious note…You have gone beyond scaring the HELL out of me. I have OCD and now I’m terrified. I have bug bites all over me at the current moment and I’m convinced I’m going to be in a nursing home. As a kid, I never had to worry about bug bites, but now…now I’m worried not just for me, but my daughter and hubby. *sigh*

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