By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Connecticut health officials announced that the second person to be diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year in Connecticut has passed away. The patient, an adult resident from Old Lyme, was hospitalized with encephalitis in mid-September and is the second human fatality from the virus in Connecticut since 2013.
This has prompted Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to advise the public to take proper precautions to protect themselves against EEE.
Lamont made the announcement yesterday at a State Capitol news briefing alongside the leaders of the Connecticut Mosquito Control Program, including the commissioners of the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Agriculture (DOAG), and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).
“State government is being cautious on peoples’ behalf and we are just warning folks to be careful, but there is no need to panic,” Governor Lamont said. “We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to provide updated information on these developments to the people of our state. If you must be outside early in the morning or at dusk, it’s a good idea to take some simple precautions.”
“Our number one priority right now is informing the public about precautions they can take to reduce risk of infection,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “Don’t panic, but please remember to use bug spray, wear long sleeves and pants, and try to avoid spending time outdoors after dusk. The good news is that as we continue to track and test mosquitos throughout Connecticut, we are seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of mosquitos testing positive for this virus as the cooler weather approaches.”
“The death of two Connecticut residents with EEE virus emphasizes the seriousness of this infection,” DPH Commissioner Renée Coleman-Mitchell cautioned. “Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die and there is no specific treatment for EEE. 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.”