Could Triple E Mosquitoes be Coming to Ottawa?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is the full name of this deadly infection.

The CDC reports EEE virus is a rare cause of brain infections (encephalitis). Only a few cases are published in the United States each year. Most occur in eastern or Gulf Coast states. Approximately 30% of people with EEE die, and many survivors have ongoing neurologic problems.

Now it seems, the infected mosquito population is growing and moving.

Scientists suggest that with the wetter weather and lack of typically cold winter weather, this is allowing the problem to grow.

In Michigan, officials confirmed one case in a teenage girl. This report is alarming to have a case of infection this far north.

News reports show that the virus is in horses in Massachusetts, horses, and deer in Michigan, horses in Connecticut and chickens in Delaware this month. Mosquito samples have shown the Triple E virus was also present in New Hampshire.

According to the CDC, most people infected with Triple E never know it. The belief is that less than 5 percent will develop encephalitis or inflammation of the brain.

The infected patients who do fall to the illness it is swift and devastating.

Commonly symptoms will start 4 to 10 days after the patent is bitten and will include headache, chills, fever, and vomiting. As the infection progresses, the patient will commonly experience some disorientation, seizures, and a coma.

The inflammation of the brain leads to death in about one-third of cases. The people that survive the disease will generally are left with brain damage.

The CDC says the best way to avoid EEE is to prevent mosquito bites. Use approved mosquito repellent, and you should wear shirts with sleeves and long pants in any wooded areas. 

Remove standing water in birdbaths and flower pots, or old tires and anything else in your yard that holds water.

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