September 22, 2015
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has been detected in a batch of mosquitoes collected from the town of Swanton on Sept. 14, and confirmed by the Health Department Laboratory.
This is the first detection of EEE virus in Vermont this year.
"The highest risk for human infections is this time of year," said Patsy Kelso, state epidemiologist for infectious disease. "We predicted going into this mosquito season that the Swanton area, due to prior years, had a moderate risk for EEE, so the detection was not unexpected."
The risk for mosquito-borne illness will continue until the first hard frost of the year.
EEE can be spread to humans and some animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. No human or animal cases have been reported so far in 2015.
"EEE can be a very serious disease and, although the risk of getting infected is low, it's not zero. No matter where you live take precautions to prevent mosquito bites," Kelso said.
Take Action to Fight the Bite:
* Limit your time outside from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active and biting. When you do go outside take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
* Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outside when mosquitoes are active.
* Use insect repellents that are labeled as being effective against mosquitoes. Effective ingredients are DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. For more information about choosing a repellent, go to healthvermont.gov and search for 'insect repellent'
* Cover baby carriages or outdoor play spaces with mosquito netting.
* Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
* Reduce mosquito breeding habitats by getting rid of standing water and draining areas where water can pool, such as rain gutters, wading pools and old tires.
For information about EEE and West Nile virus and mosquito testing results visit: healthvermont.gov
Media Contact: Communication Office, Vermont Department of Health, 802-863-7281
Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: September 22, 2015 13:01:48