Following the first two reported cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the state, officials from the state Department of Health announced a plan Tuesday to spray for mosquitos in the nearby counties of Addison and Rutland.
“The severe form of EEE is a terrible disease, and we want to take every reasonable action to prevent people from becoming infected,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen in a release. “These viruses will continue to circulate until the first freeze. Although spraying will help reduce the risk of infection, it’s important that we all take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites no matter where we live.”
The two people infected with EEE are still hospitalized, according to the state Department of Health. They were infected near an area in Brandon which tested positive for EEE and West Nile virus.
EEE is a rare disease transmitted by a mosquito bite which, in serious cases, affects the central nervous system and can cause fever, drowsiness, convulsions and coma, according to the state Department of Health.
About 20 percent of people show symptoms of West Nile virus, which includes fever, nausea and body aches.
The Department of Health advises the following to avoid mosquito bites:
• Wear long sleeves and pants.
• Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• Get rid of standing water to reduce mosquito breeding habitats.
• Use repellants that are labeled as effective against mosquitoes.
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
• Make sure your horses, emus, llamas and alpacas are vaccinated.
• There is no vaccine for humans.