EEE Strikes Again in Massachusetts

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EEE Strikes Again in Massachusetts

Ellie Gelardi

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What’s EEE?

Has the outbreak of ravenous mosquitos affected your life? Eastern Equine Cncephalitis, commonly known as EEE, has crept back into Massachusetts, after seven years of hibernation. Triple E was first recorded in 1938 in the Norfolk area with less than one hundred deaths and then again in 2010-2012 with nine fatalities. Triple E is one of the several New World Viruses that are spread by mosquito along with West Nile. 

Chills and flu-like symptoms are common when experiencing triple E, but these symptoms alone are not a cause for concern. The common summer cold and triple E are two different things. Some symptoms EEE sufferers can experience are chills, fever, malaise (feelings of discomfort), arthralgia (pain in joints), and myalgia (muscle pain). Similarly, vomiting, headaches, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma are also symptoms of triple E. Overall this case of triple E in Mass. has caused eleven deaths; one in three people diagnosed with triple E dies. 

How Do I Prevent Triple E?

Triple E can be prevented in a few different ways. First of all, attempt to plan all outdoor activities after dawn and before dusk; this is when the mosquitos are most active. Wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors can help you immensely. The less skin shown, the better. Spraying yourself before go outside can also prevent contact with mosquitos. The more effective repellent contains mostly Deet, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535, and or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

A big way to prevent triple E in your home is by removing standing water outdoors. You can do this by changing your birdbath water every few days and making sure your pool is properly covered or cleaned. You should also make a point to clean your gutters and drill holes at the bottom of your recycling bin so water can drain. Mosquitos can multiply in puddles for up to four days, along with anywhere else with water.

Where Is It Centralized?

Although Triple E has spread mostly throughout Massachusetts, there are a few places where it is most critical: Boylston, Douglas, Grafton, Marlborough, Northbridge, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Uxbridge, Framingham, Sudbury, and Ashland. Michigan and Connecticut are also experiencing similar outbreaks of Triple E. However, as we approach late fall and early winter it will be too cold for the mosquitos, and triple E will (hopefully) be a thing of the past. 

 

Work cited

Mass Gov. “EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis).” Mass.gov, Mass Gov, www.mass.gov/service-details/eee-eastern-equine-encephalitis.