First confirmed human case of EEE in CT found in East Lyme, cities canceling outdoor events after dusk

New London

EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced Monday that the first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Connecticut this season has been identified.

The DPH Commissioner Renee D. Coleman-Michelle announced Monday that an adult resident of East Lyme has tested positive for EEE.

According to DPH, the patient fell ill at the end of August with encephalitis, (an inflammation of the brain), and is receiving ongoing treatment in the hospital.

Related: Ways to treat EEE symptoms

Dr. Matthew Cartter, Director of Infectious Diseases for the DPH explained, “This is the second human case of EEE ever reported in Connecticut. The first human case of EEE reported in Connecticut occurred in the fall of 2013.”

The EEE virus has been identified in mosquitoes in 12 CT towns this year: Chester, Haddam, Hampton, Groton, Killingworth, Ledyard, Madison, North Stonington, Plainfield, Shelton, Stonington, and Voluntown.

New London Chief Administrative Officer Steven Fields released a statement Tuesday saying in part,”Effective immediately and until further notice, any and all city sponsored or supervised outdoor activities will be end by dusk (6:15 pm).”

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The City of Norwich announced Tuesday they are “canceling any previously approved use of fields after 6:30 pm until a determination is made that such use is again safe effective immediately.” The city says the Norwich Free Academy also issued the same warning.

Multiple horses have also tested positive for EEE virus in Colchester and Columbia this season.

According to DPH, there have been a total of 8 human cases of EEE infection in Massachusetts and one human case in Rhode Island; one case in each state resulted in a fatality.

In a statement, the DPH reports,

“Severe cases of EEE virus infection, (involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain), begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma. Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die, and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.”

The DPH reports that there is no specific treatment for EEE.

The DPH warns residents to protect themselves and their children: avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn (the time when mosquitoes are most active).

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