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Published On: Wed, Sep 26th, 2012

Massachusetts Health officials announce seventh case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Monday the seventh case of the mosquito borne viral disease in a Plymouth County teen. The boy never required hospitalization and is recovering.

EEE is a serious disease in all ages and can even cause death. Image/CDC

The  Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) threat level has been raised to “Critical” in Marshfield and to “High” in Scituate. According to the DPH, communities which have been designated at “Critical” or “High” risk of EEE are urged to cancel all planned evening outdoor events for the remainder of the season until the first hard frost.

The seven cases of EEE reported this year in Massachusetts, more than triples the number of cases (2) reported last year.

There have been two fatalities this year associated with EEE. The latest victim was 63-year-old mother of four and grandmother of 12 , Charlene Manseau of Amesbury.

According to a report in the The Daily News of Newburyport, family members said Mrs. Manseau died Saturday from complications from EEE.

The other fatality was in a Westborough man in his 70s who died earlier.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that is quite rare in the United States, with only 5-10 cases reported annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). EEE virus is one of several mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).

It is not transmitted from person to person.

People at highest risk of getting this infection are those who live in or visit woodland habitats, and people who work outside or participate in outdoor recreational activities, because of greater exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms usually start from a few days to more than a week after getting bit by an infected mosquito. These include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The disease can progress to disorientation, seizures, and coma. It is fatal in approximately 30 percent of the cases.

There is no specific treatment for this infection and a vaccine is not available for prevention.

The CDC advises the public to take the following preventive measures to prevent mosquito-borne diseases:

• Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.
• Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
• Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
• Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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