EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH)– An East Lyme resident who contracted EEE has died, and another person from Old Lyme has contracted it, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports.
Officials said the first person who was diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year in Connecticut passed away earlier this week.
The patient had been hospitalized with EEE in late August.
This is Connecticut’s first death from EEE since 2013.
The DPH also announced that a second Connecticut resident has tested positive for EEE.
This person is an adult from Old Lyme who became sick the second week of September and remains hospitalized.
While experts are unclear what caused the uprise in cases, Dr. Matthew Cartter, State Epidemiologist for the Connecticut DPH, said we can expect to see the same issue next year.
“We don’t know what’s different,” Dr. Matthew Cartter, State Epidemiologist for the Connecticut DPH, said. “Why are we now bein impacted the way Rhode Island and Massachusetts have for the last 50 years? But we have it and we’ll probably see it again next year.”
Watch: Full interview with State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter
He said the mosquitoes are found in freshwater swamps and explained the jump in cases is because these areas are becoming more populated.
Unfortunately, he said the worry won’t be over until the first hard frost of the season, which is usually in October.
Until then, residents in those areas are encouraged to wear long sleeves and pants and use buy spray when outside.