Mosquito-Transmitted EEE Virus & Increased Mosquito Population Cause for Concern in 2020
Only halfway through 2020 and it seems like there’s been a different scare each season (or every day).
The year began with coronavirus, soon forcing business closures and stay-at-home orders across the United States.
As the temperature began to rise across the nation, concerns of the Asian giant hornet, also known as the murder hornet, became all the rage. Not to be overshadowed, mosquitoes are descending upon us and bringing threats of disease with them because, well … 2020.
The mosquito-transmitted Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has emerged just in time for the 2020 summer season in the Northeast.
Mosquitoes are a fact of life for all of us. If you live in New England, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with mosquito bites.
And, of course, southern states like Florida have their fair share of concerns surrounding mosquitos and Eastern equine encephalitis.
What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)?
Eastern equine encephalitis, also known as Triple E, sleeping sickness, or EEE, is a disease known as an arbovirus that is spread by mosquitoes and other arthropods.
The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and could lead to an inflammation of the brain. This inflammation is known as encephalitis.
EEE can lead to ongoing neurological issues and, in some cases, death.
Individuals under the age of 15 and over the age of 50 are at higher risk of developing a complication with infected with the EEE Virus (EEEV).
Once a person has bitten by an infected mosquito, they can anticipate symptoms of EEE to appear in approximately four to 10 days.
Symptoms of EEE include the sudden onset of headaches, fever, chills, and vomiting. The symptoms can then progress into disorientation, seizures, and then a coma.
In severe cases supportive therapy including hospitalization, respiratory support, IV fluids can be used to help make the person a little more comfortable.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for EEE. Anti-viral drugs and antibiotics have not proven to be effective against the virus.
Preventing mosquito bites can be difficult, but with the Eastern equine encephalitis death rate climbing towards 40 percent, it is the best form of prevention.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Cases in 2019
At the end of 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 38 confirmed cases of EEE. Unfortunately, 15 of these cases resulted in death.
Cases were reported from the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.
In previous years, the number of reported cases has been around seven or eight. Such a significant increase should not be taken lightly and could be an indication of what to expect this year.
Scientists have been warning citizens since the 1980s of the rise in global temperatures and the impact it could have on disease-laden mosquitoes around the world. The Northeast is among the fastest-warming regions in the United States.
Although the Northeast still encounters snowfall, winters have become unseasonably warm and eventually transition to high heat in the summer.
These high temperatures have led to a rise in mosquito populations.
Compared to other mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and the West Nile virus, EEE seems like a small blip.
But that doesn’t mean the virus isn’t cause for concern or should be put on the back burner.
So as many of us are looking to get life back on track and return to “normal,” we need to leave our homes with some timid caution.
Adventure seekers, hikers, those who live or work near heavily wooded or swamp areas are advised to take extreme caution this summer.
Prevent Mosquito Infestation & EEE Transmission
Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to take precautions to eliminate mosquito infestations on their property.
Removing debris and/or clutter from the property is an important step to prevent a mosquito infestation.
Wetlands, pools, plastic toys, tarps, even plant saucers with standing water can be an ideal place for mosquitoes to lay eggs.
Catseye Pest Control offers a one-of-a-kind organic program that helps eliminate mosquitoes and ticks, further reducing the possibility of a mosquito infestation.
The Organic Tick and Mosquito Program includes an in-depth inspection of the property, a tailored treatment plan, and monthly visits to create an organic protective barrier around the property.
Catseye technicians uses environmentally friendly products that are safe for your family and pets, while creating a protective barrier for the property.
To learn more about how Catseye can protect you from unwanted pests, contact our pest and wildlife professionals today.