EEE – What you need to know
How can I lower my risk of getting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)?
- Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies when outdoors.
- Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to label instructions, when it is necessary to be outdoors.
- Caution should be taken when camping overnight, especially in areas near freshwater swamps. When camping outdoors in tents in other areas, make sure that your tent is equipped with mosquito netting and that repellent is used properly.
Common EEE Questions
What are the symptoms of EEE?
- EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. Most people infected with EEE virus do not become ill. When symptoms do occur they can range from mild fever and headache to coma. Other symptoms include high fever, fatigue, muscle aches, neck stiffness, tremors, or confusion. Severe cases include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) which can lead to coma, convulsions, and death.
How soon after being bitten by a mosquito infected with EEE virus do symptoms occur?
- Symptoms usually occur 3 to 10 days after an infected mosquito bites a person.
What is the treatment for EEE?
- There is no cure for EEE, and 3 of every 10 people who get the disease die from it. Doctors provide supportive treatment, lower the fever, and ease the pressure on the brain and spinal cord. Some people who survive this disease will be permanently disabled and only about half recover completely.
Is there a vaccine to protect humans from EEE?
- No. There is no vaccine because the EEE virus occurs so infrequently in people
How is EEE spread?
- Mosquitoes spread the EEE virus. The virus is carried by birds that live in freshwater swamps and is generally found only in these birds and in mosquitoes that feed on birds but not people.