EEE, short for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, is a fatal arbovirus infection that is spread by mosquitoes. This deadly virus has supposedly struck once again with the death of one more person in New Hampshire. EEE has become more prevalent in New England over the last decade though it is still rare in humans.
The victim who was killed by the virus in mid September is the third to contract the disease and second person in the state to die from EEE this season was recently confirmed by New Hampshire Department of Heath and Human Services.
“Our sympathies are with the family of this individual as they grieve the unfortunate death of their loved one,” DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Monterow said in a released statement. “It is important that everyone in New Hampshire remember to continue to take steps in order to prevent mosquito bites to themselves and their loved ones until the season ends with a hard frost.”
The occurrence of the disease which is sometimes called EEE or sleeping sickness in its more serious form in only about four percent of humans infected by the virus. Approximately three to ten days after a mosquito bite – high fever, muscle pain, disorientation and headache is reported and is followed in the form of flu-like symptoms. Though not usually reported, this less severe version lasts about a week.
Those people who come down with more severe symptoms, the disease proves fatal for about one third of people and those who survive the neuroinvasive form of the disease are often left with brain damage.
EEE is more particularly localized to the low lying coastal regions, but is becoming more prominent through the New England and is feared by some health officials.