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What you need to know about EEE, a mosquito-borne disease in Massachusetts this year



“We want to make sure we catch it when it first appears.”

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Mosquito vector virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, Well known as EEE, he plans to return to Massachusetts this year.

State epidemiologist Dr. Emmett Brown told on Thursday that crew members across the state said last week that they were catching mosquitoes annually to suspect the first carrier of the disease. The inspection program has started.

No carrier Detected yet. According to Brown, the exact time can be clearly different, but state officials usually see mosquitoes carrying EEEs identified before mid-July.

“We always start in mid-June because it’s before EEE or West Nile virus activity is expected,” Brown said. “We want to make sure we catch it when it first appears.”

EEE outbreaks usually last for three years, and this summer marks the end of one or two cycles in about the last decade, which began in 2019. In Massachusetts, the last outbreak cycle occurred in 2012.

EEE is a potentially deadly infection and there is no cure. The disease can cause cerebral edema, fever, coma, Kills about one-third of those who contract it.. Survivors often face severe neuropathy and complications.

2019, 12 cases were reported and 6 died — The most violent outbreak in Massachusetts since the 1950s. Last year, the state recorded five human cases.

“2019 was unprecedented, but 2020 was like an average outbreak,” Brown said.

This year, there are some early signs that Bay may see a milder outbreak.

According to Brown, the drought that the region experienced last fall and this past spring could reduce the population of mosquito species that carry EEE. ( Mosquitoes mainly lay eggs in water pockets under the roots of red maple and white cedar swamps... The rainy season generally provides favorable conditions for mosquito breeding. )

A few mosquitoes that spread the virus — after being infected with the virus from the bloodstream of birds Virus storage host —Brown said it could delay the amplification of EEE.

“It may benefit us because the population seems to be smaller,” she said.

However, the size of the population does not necessarily determine the severity or extent of the outbreak, Brown said. She said that temperature and the spread of the virus in bird populations are among several other ecological factors.

“In general, there are no strict rules,” Brown said when asked about when the first case of EEE usually occurs. “The sooner we find evidence of EEE, the more likely it is to have a bad year.”

State officials also track cases of West Nile virus each year. Most people infected with the virus do not experience symptoms, but one in five can have a fever and experience headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In rare cases, an infected person may experience brain inflammation and other serious nervous system complications. Last year, Massachusetts recorded eight human cases.

In Cape Cod Case reports also show the potential for an increase in salt marsh mosquitoes, Mainly on the outer cape.

Brown said these mosquitoes, which she described as “aggressive human bites,” are generally more troublesome than serious health concerns.

“Sure, they can make it uncomfortable to be outdoors, but they’re not particularly relevant to either the West Nile virus or the EEE cycle,” she said.

When it comes to EEE, Massachusetts residents don’t have to worry about this early in the season, according to Brown.

She said the Massachusetts Public Health Service will announce when EEE is first detected.She also released information released by the state, especially Department online case tracker.

According to Brown, to prevent West Nile virus, check window screens for holes that could allow insects to enter, and regularly drain and replace standing water such as bird baths. It is a good time to take preventive measures such as virus.

“What I want now is that people start a kind of memory.” Now, mosquito-borne diseases will occur. This is what I have to do, and this is how I keep the information up to date, “she said.

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