By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) infection situation in Connecticut, Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell today announced a second Connecticut resident has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) infection. The patient is an adult resident of Old Lyme who became ill during the second week of September with encephalitis and remains hospitalized.

Eastern equine encephalitis /CDC

In addition, health officials learned that the first person diagnosed with EEE this year in Connecticut passed away earlier this week.  The patient, an adult resident from the Town of East Lyme, was hospitalized with encephalitis in late August.  This is Connecticut’s first fatal human EEE case since 2013.

“The identification of two Connecticut residents with EEE, one of whom has passed away, emphasizes the seriousness of this infection,” cautioned DPH Commissioner Renée Coleman Mitchell.  “Using insect repellent, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes continue to be active until the first heavy frost.”

States throughout the Northeast are also experiencing an active season for EEE.  In addition to the virus being found in mosquitoes, there have been a total of 10 human cases of EEE infection in Massachusetts, including two fatalities, and three human cases in Rhode Island, including 1 fatality.

It takes 4 to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito to develop symptoms of EEE. Severe cases of EEE virus infection result in encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die and there is no specific treatment for EEE.