By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In light of the increase in Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Massachusetts this and recent years, US Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren sent a letter Friday to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director, Anthony Fauci, MD to seek information on research efforts on eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus.

Sen Ed Markey
Image/US Senate

Massachusetts has seen seven human EEE cases to date, including one death.

“The only way to prevent EEE transmission is to protect against mosquito bites; aerial spraying alone cannot eradicate the danger,” write the Senators in their letter. “Though our constituents will continue to take steps to minimize the risk of exposure, it is important to explore different medical options to prevent or treat this reoccurring menace.”

Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare, but potentially fatal, condition that can cause brain inflammation. Individuals infected with the EEE virus who develop the condition and recover often live with severe and devastating neurological complications.

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The EEE virus is transmitted to humans who are bitten by infected mosquitos. Massachusetts has seen a disproportionately high number of EEE cases since 2009. Communities throughout Massachusetts have taken extra precautions this year to help mitigate the potential spread of this virus, including aerial spraying for mosquitoes and adjusting schedules of outdoor events to minimize exposure risks.

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