Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus has claimed another life rising the total count to 2. The EEE virus has killed a person in New Hampshire.
The first one to get sick from EEE in August was from Conway area who died last month.
Commonly called Triple E or sleeping sickness, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but critical viral disease spread by mosquitoes that can affect people and horses too.
The virus first recognized in Massachusetts, USA in 1831 is a zoonotic alphavirus and arbovirus present in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
It is supposedly capable of affecting captive birds such as the ring-necked pheasant, emu, ostriches, quail and ducks.
It has rare occurrence in other livestock, deer, dogs, other mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
The virus prevails in the environment through a bird – mosquito cycle. Culiseta melanura and Cs. morsitans are the two major mosquito species that feed on blood of birds and are responsible for the disease. The Aedes vexans, Coquillettidia perturbans, Ochlerotatus canadensis and Ochlerotatus sollicitan species of mosquitoes called as bridge vectors are responsible for the transmission to mammals.
About 4-10 days post being bitten by infected mosquito symptoms like headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting appears which may raise to seizures, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), severe brain damage and coma.
Over the last decade the disease has been somewhat growing in New England.
The Manchester resident who died was the third to be infected and second one in the state who died according to New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services confirmation.
“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.
“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.”
Montero confirmed that the person got infected by the virus at August end and was killed by the disease in mid-September. Due to complicated testing the virus was not accurately detected till the patient died.
A third person also has been diagnosed with the virus. two animals and 18 mosquito batches have tested positive with the Triple E virus.
“You need to make sure you’re wearing repellent,” said Dr. Abigail Mathewson of the New Hampshire Division of Public Health. “A lot of times when people are going to and from work it can be the time of day when mosquitoes are most active.”
“It’s not a surprise,” Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control said. “Eastern equine encephalitis has been in the state for a number of years. It was just a matter of time before the cases were going to occur.”